Melbourne, FL (PRWEB) December 12, 2013
Despite a fall in the number of fatalities from car accidents, the United States is seeing a rise in the number of fatalities from hit-and-run crashes – something that is prompting legislative responses from the states in an attempt to curb the problem.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatalities from car accidents fell 4.5 percent from 2009 to 2011. However, in that same period of time, the number of fatalities from hit-and-run crashes rose 13.7 percent from 1,274 cases in 2009 to 1,449 cases in 2011, reflecting a similar increase in the number of such incidents. In fact, the number of hit-and-run crashes have risen so much that one in five pedestrian fatalities in the United States can be attributed to them.
In response, the states are passing legislation to combat this troubling trend. For example, a recent bill in California increased the statute of limitations for hit-and-run from three years to six years. This is meant to give law enforcement more time to investigate hit-and-run crashes and obtain justice from those responsible in those crashes. In Los Angeles alone, there are about 20,000 cases on an annual basis making up about half of all car accidents in the city. Other bills are being considered in states such as Arizona, Florida, and Texas to either tighten existing legislation or increase the penalties for offenders.
With the rise of hit-and-run accidents, Sinclair Law encourages victims of hit-and-runs to protect themselves legally as best as possible. As is true with all accidents, after making sure people are safe and well enough to do so, victims and/or witnesses should document the incidents as much as possible. Essential points include the car’s make, model, color, license plate, the location of the crash, and the direction in which the offender is driving. Victims and witnesses of hit-and-run accidents should contact the police to file a report using documented information. Sinclair Law also recommends contacting a professional personal injury lawyer to walk victims or their families’ step-by-step through the process and to consider the legal options available to them before calling their insurance company to speak about claims.
While this may seem to be common sense, Brad Sinclair of Sinclair Law says it’s easy to forget the “legal” aspect of hit-and-run crashes. “It can be hard in the horrible moments of a crash, especially a hit-and-run, to remember details like license plate tags or vehicle make and model, but it’s so important in such accidents,” says Sinclair. “We encourage witnesses to do their part too, especially if the victim was fatally injured, as the victim’s family may want to investigate legal options with an attorney as well.”
For more information on Sinclair Law, visit: SinclairLaw.com.
About Sinclair Law
With over 25 years of personal injury and wrongful death legal experience, Brad Sinclair has been providing his legal expertise to victims in personal injury cases all throughout Brevard County in Florida, including the areas of Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, and Titusville. Sinclair Law specializes in personal injury cases involving motorcycle accidents, automotive accidents, and truck accidents, and staffs former insurance claims adjustors to help with each case. Visit SinclairLaw.com today for more information.