Kentucky Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
It’s bad enough to be injured in an accident. When the vehicle responsible leaves the scene, it makes a bad situation worse. It’s against the law to leave the scene of an accident, but that doesn’t stop it from happening. Just because a driver didn’t stay at the scene doesn’t mean getting compensation for your injuries isn’t possible. If you or a loved one are a victim of such an accident in Kentucky, we may be able to help.
Hit-and-run accidents are a problem nationwide and in Kentucky.
- An Ohio man was walking on Stewartsville Road in Williamstown when he was struck and killed in March. The vehicle that struck him didn’t stop at the scene. In May a Grant County man was charged in connection with the accident, reports Fox19.
- A woman was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Springfield in May, according to WDRB. The 32-year-old Lebanon resident was found on the shoulder of KY 55 northbound near the Marion and Washington County line. It’s believed she was walking on the road at the time.
- A 42-year-old Louisville resident was killed in a hit-and-run accident on I-64 in Frankfort in December, according to WKYT. It occurred in the westbound lanes between the two Frankfort exits. Police believe the other vehicle was a Honda with extensive front-end damage.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes increased from 1,274 in 2009 to 1,449 in 2011, according to USA Today. The number of deaths in these accidents rose 13.7%, from 33,883 in 2009 to 32,367 in 2011.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety looked at NHTSA’s numbers and found that about 20% of all pedestrian accident fatalities involve drivers who left the scene and about 60% of all hit-and-run fatalities are pedestrians. They also estimated that about 11% of all reported vehicle accidents involve at least one driver who flees the scene.
What should you do if you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident?
- Do your best to get the license plate number and state of registration of the vehicle. Even a partial number, along with other details, may help track down the vehicle’s owner.
- Following the accident, write down as many details as possible, while the incident is fresh on your mind.
- Call the police after you’ve gathered as many details as possible. Based on the information you provide, the police may be able to find the vehicle.
- Take photos of the scene and your vehicle so they may be used as evidence.
- If you are injured, ask the police officer for an ambulance so you can get medical attention; at least get an exam by a health care professional the following day to see if there’s any sign of injuries that you’re not aware of.
- Contact your insurance company and report the accident. Policyholders who want to fraudulently have damage to their vehicle paid for often claim they’re the victims of hit-and-run accidents, so insurance companies are often skeptical of such claims.
- Never chase or confront the driver who is leaving the scene. If you’re injured, you may not be able to safely drive your car, this could lead to additional accidents; the other driver may be intoxicated, fleeing the police or wanted by law enforcement. You also need to stay at the scene of the accident so the police can start their investigation and create a report.
Finding the driver responsible may take some time, but the police are often able to do so. The other vehicle will probably be damaged and may not have been able to get far. The police may also notify local auto body and auto repair shops to be aware of certain types of vehicles with certain kinds of damage. Surveillance cameras have become common, and one near the scene of the accident may be able to show how the accident happened and contain images of the vehicle leaving the scene.
To protect yourself before you suffer a hit-and-run accident, purchase as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can as part of your auto policy. This coverage is required in Kentucky, but you can decide not to have it if you sign a waiver — that would be a mistake. This coverage can help you if the driver at fault lacks insurance or leaves the scene of the accident and can’t be found. In this situation, your insurance carrier would pay the claim as if it insured the other driver.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit-and-run vehicle accident, you need to know your rights and seek legal protection. You can bet the insurance company knows what to do to keep you from getting fair compensation. We can help. Call Julie Butcher, the Lexington, KY Vehicle Accident Lawyer, at 859-233-3641 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.