As Californians, we may have much to be proud of. But, a new statistic shows we also lead the nation when it comes to hit-and-run crashes. According to an AAA study, there were 2,049 deaths nationwide in 2016 as a result of hit-and-run crashes, of which 337 occurred in California, the most recent year for which that data is available. This is the highest number of hit-and-run crashes the state has ever seen, a 60 percent increase over the numbers in 2009. The statistics also show that on a per capita basis, California ranked seventh nationally for hit-and-run deaths.
Common Characteristics of Hit and Runs
Researchers with AAA looked at some of the common characteristics of hit-and-run crashes around the country and found the following:
- About 65 percent of people who were fatally injured in hit-and-run accidents were either pedestrians or bicyclists.
- Hit-and-run fatalities nationwide have increased an average of 7.2 percent each year since 2009.
- Per capita, New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida have the highest rate of fatal hit-and-run crashes.
If You Have Been Injured
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run crash, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your legal rights. First, call the police and file a report. Make sure you get a copy of the report for your own records. Take photos of the accident scene including any debris left by the hit-and-run vehicle. These could be important pieces of evidence. Talk to eyewitnesses at the scene and see if anyone got the vehicle’s license plate. Even a partial license plate or driver description can greatly help locate the suspect. Get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. Save all receipts and bills pertaining to your accident, injuries and medical treatment.
Hit-and-run victims suffer a great deal not just emotionally, but also financially, because they must deal with sudden and unforeseen expenses. An experienced Los Angeles hit-and-run lawyer can help victims obtain maximum compensation for their losses. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can also advice victims about how their own auto insurance policy might apply to an incident where the hit-and-run driver has not been apprehended or in a case where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.