According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there were about 737,100 hit-and-run accidents in the United States in 2015, which averages at least one accident per minute.
These accidents can cause thousands of deaths and billions of dollars worth of damages every year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), hit-and-run accidents killed over 1,200 pedestrians in 2018, representing 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths.
If you or a loved one suffered a hit-and-run accident, call the Fitch Law Firm, LLC today at (614) 545-3930. A Cincinnati hit-and-run accident lawyer may evaluate your damages, gather evidence, and file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf if you have legal grounds for seeking compensation. Filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit may help you recover from your accident and get your life back on track.
Not All Hit-and-Run Accidents Are the Same
Hit-and-run accidents may involve a moving vehicle and:
- Another moving vehicle
- A pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist
- Roadside property or roadside fixtures
- A parked or stationary vehicle
Causes and Resultant Damages
Anything that causes a regular vehicle accident can cause a hit-and-run accident as well. Hit-and-run accidents are often caused by:
- Driver negligence, which might involve speeding, distraction, drowsiness, inexperience, recklessness, or aggression
- Poor lighting or damaged roads
- A lack of road signs or traffic control devices
- Poor vehicle maintenance or on-the-road malfunctions
Hit-and-run accident victims may suffer injuries, such as:
- Cuts, abrasions, or bruises
- Lacerations or contusions
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken, fractured, or crushed bones
- Nerve, muscle, tissue, tendon, and ligament damage
- Internal organ damage
- Face, eye, or ear injuries
- Varying degrees of paralysis
After a hit-and-run accident, you might face substantial medical treatment expenses for your injuries, and you might also lose income by being unable to work. You might have vehicle or property damage as well. In the event of the death of a loved one, you might also have to pay funeral charges, which can cost thousands of dollars.
For a free legal consultation with a hit-and-run accidents lawyer serving Cincinnati, call 614-545-3930
Hit-and-Run Accident Laws and Penalties May Affect Your Case
According to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §4549.02, you are not allowed to leave the scene of an accident without first stopping and exchanging contact and vehicle ownership information with the party you struck.
This statute also includes provisions for what to do if the party you struck is unavailable or cannot comprehend the information you are attempting to exchange, such as in the event that someone is injured. In such cases, you must notify the nearest police authority of the accident.
A failure to report the accident to the authorities may lead to:
- A first-degree misdemeanor
- A fifth-degree felony if serious physical harm is involved
- A third-degree felony if the death of an individual is involved
- A class five suspension of the offender’s vehicle operator’s license
Fleeing the scene of an accident is against the law, and the law places increasingly harsh penalties on hit-and-run drivers based on the extent of damage and/or injury they cause in an accident. Despite the threat of facing legal consequences, drivers often flee the scene of an accident after hitting someone else without contacting the vehicle or property owner or sharing contact and insurance information.
Here are a few reasons why this happens. In many cases, an offending driver:
- Might not realize that they caused an accident
- Might not have the requisite licensing or insurance needed to legally operate a motor vehicle
- Might realize that they were driving negligently
- Might simply try to evade fines and jail time
- Might flee in a panic
Identifying the hit-and-run driver is generally one of the first steps involved in a car accident claim. If you are unable to do so, a different set of insurance rules may apply to your case. You can contact the Fitch Law Firm, LLC, at (614) 545-3930 to speak with a member of our team about how to begin building your case. If you decide to work with us, we can assign a Cincinnati hit-and-run accident lawyer to manage your case for you.
Cincinnati Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Near Me 614-545-3930
It Is Against Ohio Law to Drive without Insurance
According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle without insurance. It is also illegal for a vehicle owner to permit anyone else to drive their vehicle without insurance.
The minimum insurance requirements for operating a motor vehicle in Ohio are:
- $25,000 for injury or death to one person
- $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people
- $25,000 for property damage liability per accident
Ohio is an at-fault state. If you are involved in an accident, you must identify the at-fault party and file a compensation claim with the at-fault party’s insurer for the damages you suffered in the accident. Hit-and-run accidents are different, though, in that you might not be able to identify the at-fault driver responsible for your accident.
Furthermore, even if you do eventually identify the at-fault driver, you might still have to face out-of-pocket expenses if the accident involved an unidentified or an uninsured driver. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), about 12.4 percent of drivers in Ohio drive without insurance.
To seek compensation for hit-and-run accident damages, you might have to file a claim with your insurer. In most cases, if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you can use that policy to cover some of your damages, depending on your policy terms. Some policies cover bodily injuries, property damage, and other losses, such as lost income, but others may not. Our legal team may help you interpret your insurance policy.
Let the Fitch Law Firm, LLC, Help You with Your Case
You can file a claim by gathering evidence to prove that you were involved in an accident and suffered damages therein. Submit this evidence along with a claim to your insurer. You may need to undergo a physical examination with a doctor on your insurer’s pre-approved panel before you are approved for compensation.
If you are denied a claim or need additional assistance with evaluating your damages, collecting evidence, or navigating hit-and-run or insurance laws, contact the Fitch Law Firm, LLC, at (614) 545-3930. A Cincinnati hit-and-run accident lawyer from our team may be able to help you with your hit-and-run accident case.