Hit and run accidents are a growing problem in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. Being the victim of a hit and run accident is frightening enough, and when the responsible driver flees the scene of the accident, it causes even more trauma for the victim. Hit and run charges can be serious, as a hit and run accident can be charged with a felony if a significant injury or death occurs. Many people are injured and die every day as the result of hit and run. When these types of accident occur, victims need the advice of an experienced accident attorney to help recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Compensation can come from the hit and run driver, if they are known, or from the victim’s own insurance company.
When a driver does not stop at the scene of an accident, it is often because he or she is driving under the influence, driving distracted, speeding or driving without a license or without insurance. In some cases, the hit and run driver may have a criminal history and know they will be arrested if caught. Pedestrians, bicyclists and the occupant of other vehicles are the victims of these negligent drivers, and they are left to deal with the financial and medical consequences of the accident while they try to recover from devastating injuries. It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident. When you are involved in a hit & run accident, be sure to contact the police immediately, they will investigate and try to locate the driver.
Common Hit and Run Accidents
- Accidents involving pedestrians
- Accidents involving bicyclists
- Accidents involving parked cars
- Accidents involving property damage
- A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first half of 2015 released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812217.pdf reported a statistical projection of an 8% increase in traffic fatalities for the year.
- The projection of fatality rate changes per region estimates 4% increase in traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.
- The NHTSA http://www.nhtsa.gov/NCSA reported that 32,675 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2014 and 2.3 million people were injured.
- According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, http://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/Bureaus/HighwaySafety/Web%20Development/Crash%20Facts%20Book/2014_CFB_linked.pdf there were 121,317 reported crashes in Pennsylvania in 2014, which resulted in 1,195 deaths and 79,758 injuries.
- Passenger cars were involved in 55.7% of the crashes in Pennsylvania.
- 90% of all traffic crashes involve some sort of driver error that contributes to the crash.
- According to the NHTSA, one fifth of the pedestrians killed in 2014 were struck in crashes that involved hit and run drivers.
Pennsylvania Hit and Run Accident Penalties
The sentencing guidelines in fatal hit and run accidents in Pennsylvania increased significantly with the passage of “Kevin’s Law,” a law named in honor of Kevin Miller, who was only five-years-old when he was killed by a hit an run driver in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, devastating the entire community.
Pennsylvania law requires any driver who is involved in an accident where an injury or fatality occurs to stop at the scene and remain at the scene of the accident. With the passage of “Kevin’s Law,” the penalty for those who flee fatal crashes will be increased to a mandatory minimum of three year’s in prison. Kevin’s Law, amended by Senate Bill 1312, makes the penalty for fleeing the scene of a vehicular homicide the same as homicide by vehicle when drunk.
Hit and Run – What to Do
Call the police or 911 immediately. Remain calm, and if you are able and it is safe, take witness information and snap photos of the scene. Help the injured if you can.
Call the Car Accident Lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli Today
We realize how stressful and difficult it is to be the victim of an auto accident. If you or a loved one have been injured in a hit and run crash, contact the experienced team of car accident attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Philadelphia or Wilkes-Barre. The victims of hit & run accidents may be able to recover damages that include compensation for medical, rehabilitative and hospital expenses, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering. If the victim of the hit and run car accident dies, you may have a wrongful death claim.
It is important to seek experienced legal representation immediately. The injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli will help you hold the negligent hit and run accident driver accountable. We can help fight for you in getting adequate compensation through your insurer, as well as filing suit against the driver if he or she is found and it is warranted. Call today for a free consultation. Call a Philadelphia hit and run accident attorney at 215-575-9237 or talk to a car accident attorney in Wilkes-Barre at 570-714-HURT.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.