Two Main Reasons for Hit-and-Run Accidents
Remaining at the scene of an accident is the law in North Carolina and most people do this as a matter of course. Even when drivers cause collisions, it is natural to check everyone involved for injuries, call for help, exchange information and maybe take a few photos.
Responsible drivers cannot imagine why anyone would leave the scene. There certainly are instances where heightened emotions and temporary panic cause some drivers to flee. These individuals often turn themselves in to police when they gain more control.
Many hit-and-run drivers decide to leave the scene because of other criminal behavior in which they may have been involved. However, in the process, they leave injury victims and their families with no sense of closure.
One Accident Victim Obtained His Own Sense of Closure
Unfortunately, many motorists and pedestrians sustain severe injuries and cannot take action to go after the individuals who caused their pain. This was not the case on January 20th, when one Iowa victim managed to pursue and trap the motorist who drove off after causing over $6,000 in damages to his truck.
According to WOWT NBC, the victim was an elementary school teacher known for teaching students to take responsibility for their actions. In spite of his vehicle’s poor condition, the teacher followed the hit-and-run driver. When he went into a driveway, the teacher blocked him from further escape. During the driver’s arrest, it became clear that other criminal acts were behind his flight.
Two Criminal Acts Commonly Lead to Hit-and-Run Incidents
Although the driver claimed disorientation after hitting his head on the windshield post, it seems clear that other concerns caused him to flee the accident scene:
- Operating while under the influence (OWI): Intoxicated driving is possibly the leading reason why drivers leave the scene of an accident. Even a first conviction can result in up to a one-year license suspension, along with fines and possible jail time. The highest conviction levels can send offenders to jail for up to three years, along with fines up to $10,000 and other severe penalties.
- Driving without insurance: The victim in the Iowa case quickly learned that the other driver’s insurance card was invalid because his policy lapsed prior to the collision. A second or third offense results in higher penalties and registration suspension, along with the possibility of up to 45 days of imprisonment.
On one hand, even misdemeanor hit-and-run convictions can carry penalties that include fines and up to one year in jail. Of course, these penalties are added to those that are assessed as a result of the other criminal convictions. The drivers who commit these crimes typically see flight as the only available option for avoiding steep fines.
Hit-and-Run Victims Need Reliable Legal Support
Hit-and-run injury victims may have somewhat limited options to pursue the compensation they need to cover their expenses. Particularly when victims must turn to their own uninsured motorist insurance as the only option for coverage, skilled legal support can make a difference.
Experienced Charlotte hit-and-run lawyers can monitor the claim process and step in when their clients experience anything from claims delays to unfairly-low settlement offers. Call us at 800-948-0577, or use our convenient online contact form to learn how we can help.