The number of hit-and-run accidents has gradually risen to 7.2%, accounting for over 5% of traffic deaths. Hit-and-run accidents are most frequently committed by young drivers, who are more likely to flee from a scene of an accident than other age groups. Hit-and-run accidents also tend to occur in urban areas. The problem of hit-and-run accidents is particularly acute in North Carolina’s larger cities, such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro.
Why are Hit-and-Runs on the Rise?
In North Carolina, drivers are required by law to remain at the crime scene when involved in a hit-and-run accident. They are to assess whether they have caused damage to a car, property, injury, or death. If the victim is injured, the offender must ensure that the victim gets the medical assistance they need and awaits the police for further investigation of the accident.
Violation of these laws may lead to harsh penalties, including imprisonment. Hit-and-run charges can be felonies or misdemeanors based on state laws and individual circumstances. In some states, a driver who fails to return to the scene of an accident may face criminal charges of “hit and run,” even if they were not at fault for the accident itself. In other states, however, only drivers who were at fault for the accident may be charged with hit and run.
In North Carolina, a hit-and-run accident is charged as a felony if:
- The accident caused severe bodily harm or injury that will significantly affect the life of the victim or his dependents
- The accident resulted in the death of the victim
- If the perpetrator flees the scene of the accident
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Hit-And-Runs Are a Class H Felony
If proven guilty, the at-fault party may have their license suspended, pay expensive fines, or serve jail time.
Several reasons may motivate drivers to flee the scene of an accident. Most hit-and-run accidents occur when people drive under the influence (DUI) or while intoxicated (DWI). Other reasons why a driver may speed off after being involved in a hit-and-run include the following:
- Expired car insurance
- Reckless driving
- If the driver has existing warrants of arrest
- An expired driver’s license
A Hit-And-Run Incident Can Have a Significant Impact on Your Life
It is crucial to hire an experienced North Carolina hit-and-run lawyer who can help you recover damages from the at-fault party. Hit-and-run Lawyers help clients understand their rights after a hit-and-run accident and ensure that their claims are correctly filed with the insurance company for maximum compensation. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney for your case is essential when dealing with insurance companies after being involved in an accident caused by someone else.
Hit-and-run drivers may not be caught immediately, and investigators may be unable to track down the driver or find the car. Furthermore, evidence may be lost or damaged before a claim is filed. An attorney can ensure that your claim is filed as soon as the incident happens and that the claim is detailed and thorough.
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The accident may have resulted in financial losses, and you can file a lawsuit to recover. At Ambrosino Law, we can guide you through the procedure of filing a lawsuit and help you recover any financial losses you suffered because of hit-and-run accidents.