Can Hit and Run Drivers be Unaware of Accidents?
Few people would disagree that drivers who flee after being involved in an accident are among the worst of the worst. From a legal standpoint, they prevent accident victims from pursuing the full value of their claims.
Some victims who fail to carry optional uninsured motorist insurance coverage can face extensive unpaid damages. Perhaps more important, hit-and-run accidents can impede recovery from injuries when drivers fail to help seriously-injured people at the scene. People who might have lived can die just because they could not obtain quick medical assistance.
In September 2014, our Charlotte hit and run lawyers were intrigued by a story that does not fit the typical mold. According to WTVD-TV, a Clayton man kept driving after hitting a 13-year old boy who was waiting for a school bus. The driver eventually turned himself in, but he was initially unaware of the accident.
Sometimes, Drivers Can Be Unaware of an Accident
It is well-known that the majority of hit-and-run drivers are aware of their involvement in accidents, but they flee out of concern for intoxication or unlicensed driving charges. Still, some motorists keep driving because they do not recognize that an accident occurred. The following are a few reasons why some drivers keep moving:
- Recognition of impact while believing the victim was a small animal, as was the Clayton man’s case
- Loud music or other distractions causing complete unawareness of a collision
- Striking small body parts, such as a hand, which cannot be heard or felt within the vehicle
The good news is that unaware hit-and-run drivers often turn themselves in once they learn they may have been involved in an accident. Of course, a lack of awareness does not remove liability for injuries and other damages, but quick admission of fault provides victims with the information needed to file personal injury claims through insurance or lawsuits. Additionally, violators who turn themselves in have a better chance of mitigating some of the criminal charges against them.
Police Reports are Among the Vital Necessities After Hit-and-Run Accidents
Victims or their families should call police after a hit-and-run accident, obtain a police report and follow up to obtain investigation updates. They should also strongly consider seeking advice from an experienced attorney who knows how to obtain the available evidence while assisting with follow-up activities.