Hit & Run Pedestrian Accidents
Claiming a Life Every 107 Minutes: Pedestrian-Vehicle Crashes
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a National Pedestrian Crash Report analyzing various aspects related to pedestrian deaths throughout the country, and their findings serve as an urgent reminder that drivers must cease treating pedestrians as nothing more than obstructions in the road. In a similar vein, pedestrians must exercise their own caution and also adhere to traffic rules and safety regulations.
While every pedestrian death is horrible for those involved, a pedestrian hit-and-run is particularly difficult to cope with because of its lack of closure. It leaves a family with a gaping hole that only begins to fill if the perpetrator is discovered or justice is served.
The Definition of a Hit-and-Run
The NHTSA defines a hit-and-run “as a crash where the driver of a contact vehicle in the crash does not stop to render aid (this includes drivers who flee the scene on foot).” During their report’s ten-year survey period, the NHTSA found that one in every five pedestrian deaths was the result of hit-and-run collisions.
Regarding New Jersey, the State Police report there were 143 pedestrian deaths in 2011, 32 of which were killed in hit-and-run crashes.
Overall, NHTSA found six primary driver behaviors contributed to fatal pedestrian crashes, with hit-and-runs leading the pack:
- Operating vehicle in reckless manner (4%)
- Failure to keep in proper lane (5%)
- Being inattentive (7%)
- Failure to yield right-of-way (9%)
- Driving too fast for conditions (10%)
- Hit-and-run (20%)
What to Do When You’ve Been the Victim of a Hit-And-Run
Stunned. That’s a common feeling immediately after being struck by a vehicle, and physical pain may soon follow.
Once you realize that the driver has disappeared, do not lose hope. Call the police immediately to report the accident, and contact an ambulance if your injuries warrant it. Gather the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the collision, for witness testimonies will go far when the only thing investigators may have is a fuzzy, black-and-white surveillance video from a nearby business. If you happened to see the make or model of the car responsible, jot the information down before it’s forgotten. An attorney with experience handling hit-and-run investigations can help you compile evidence while crafting a strong legal strategy.
Auto Insurance Coverage for Hit-and-Runs
In car accidents where both drivers remain on the scene, you would exchange insurance information. In pedestrian hit-and-runs, if investigators and our resources cannot track down the culprit, the Uninsured Motorist Coverage in your own auto insurance policy handles these “phantom vehicle claims” in which the at-fault driver has fled.
To ensure all options are exhausted for finding the driver responsible for your pain, and to rest assured that the insurance company is fairly compensating you for your hit-and-run claim, contact the experienced attorneys at Console & Hollawell at (800) 455-2746 as soon as possible.
If you’ve witnessed a hit-and-run and would like to anonymously report it, our law firm has teamed up with other firms and WeTip to create the Hit-and-Run Reward program, a platform allowing you to win an award when you report a hit-and-run.