Hit-and-run crashes are a growing concern. Nationally, hit-and-run deaths have increased by 7.2% on average each year since 2009. In Minnesota, hit-and-run crashes amounted to 11% of all crashes in 2018. The consequences of being the victim of a hit-and-run crash can be considerable, from serious injury with expensive medical expenses, lost time at work, and damage to your vehicle.
What Is a Hit and Run?
A hit-and-run is when the driver of a vehicle collides with or forces another vehicle or pedestrian or bicyclist off the road, then leaves the scene without stopping to properly exchange information and accept responsibility for damages or injuries. Leaving the scene of a car accident can result in criminal charges and civil sanctions.
Any driver of a motor vehicle involved in a collision must stop immediately. They must investigate what they hit, and if they know or have reason to think that the collision caused injury or death, the driver must remain at the site.
The driver who does not stop and remain at the site of the collision has committed a hit-and-run. The only defense to leaving the scene of a collision is to take an injured person to seek medical care. But the driver of the vehicle involved in the collision must still contact the authorities as soon as possible to report the collision.
In Minnesota, leaving the scene of a car collision can result in criminal and administrative penalties. The driver may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.
But what about someone on the receiving end of a hit-and-run? Remember, it does not matter if you caused the collision or not. If you leave without fulfilling your duty to report the collision, you can be charged with the crime of leaving the scene of an accident.
I Was the Victim of a Hit-and-Run. Now What?
Hit and run accidents often result in vehicle damage, serious injuries, and expensive medical treatment. If your insurance policy does not cover all medical expenses or other losses, you may be responsible for these costs. If the person who left the scene is identified, you may have legal grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, call the authorities immediately. Then, look for witnesses and get their contact information. If you or any witnesses saw the vehicle that struck you, write down the make, model, and license number, if possible. Note, too, the direction in which the vehicle went after the collision.
Protect your rights. The personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm will help you recover compensation for your related medical expenses, lost time from work, and injuries. Contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.