Understanding Hit-and-Run Accidents in Missouri
Legal Definition and Statistics
In Missouri, it’s considered a hit-and-run accident when one of the drivers involved in the collision flees the accident scene without meeting their legal responsibilities, like providing aid or identification.
In recent years, statistics have indicated that drivers are increasingly fleeing accident scenes without providing the necessary assistance. The AAA Foundation reported that 737,100 hit-and-runs occurred in 2016, resulting in 2,049 deaths, representing a 60 percent increase since 2009.
Victim’s Emotional and Financial Impact
Victims of hit-and-run accidents often face incredible challenges. They are often left alone to grapple with physical injuries, property damage, rising medical bills, and emotional distress. Furthermore, the uncertainty of identifying the at-fault driver compounds their difficulties. Who is responsible when they are seeking compensation?
In hit-and-run cases, some victims find solace in uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects them in scenarios where the other driver is uninsured or unidentified, such as in hit-and-run accidents.
Legal Options and Compensation
Pursuing Legal Action
Our lawyers offer essential legal guidance to victims of hit-and-run incidents, assisting them in pursuing legal action. We ensure our clients understand their rights and are informed about available legal options regarding third-party liability insurance.
Types of Compensation Available
If you are a hit-and-run accident victim, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation. These can include, but are not limited to, the following:
Pain and suffering
At Buchanan, Williams &O’Brien, our personal injury lawyers strive to maximize compensation for their clients’ losses.
How to Prevent Hit-and-Run Incidents
Preventing hit-and-run incidents is crucial for the safety of everyone on the road. Here are some essential tips to avoid being involved in such situations:
- Defensive Driving: Stay vigilant and alert while driving. Anticipate potential hazards, follow all traffic rules, and avoid any distractions to reduce the risk of accidents.
- Secure Parking: Always park in well-lit areas and make sure to lock your vehicle. Use security measures like steering wheel locks and alarms to deter possible parking lot hit-and-run scenarios.
- Maintain Communication: Ensuring other motorists know your maneuvers.
For complete safety guidelines regarding road safety in Missouri, the Missouri State Highway Patrol FAQs are an excellent resource to refer to.
What to Do If You Witness a Hit-and-Run
If you witness a hit-and-run incident, take immediate action. Note down the vehicle’s license plate number, the description of the car, the hit-and-run driver, if possible, and the direction they drove. Contact emergency services immediately and provide information to aid the investigation.
Remember, your role as a witness can significantly contribute to resolving the incident and holding the responsible party accountable.