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Hit-and-run accidents increasing across the nation

In New York, when there is a car accident, the people who are involved are expected to stop. This is to call for assistance if it is necessary and to exchange insurance information with the others in the crash. It is against the law to flee the scene after a car crash. However, despite the legal ramifications, hit-and-run accidents still occur on a regular basis.

A new study from AAA shows just how prevalent this problem is. It is something that drivers who are victimized by it must be aware of if they are in a crash. In its study, AAA says that the number of hit-and-run crashes is rising by an average of 7 percent annually. Overall, there have been approximately 682,000 hit-and-run accidents in the United States since 2006. 2,049 people died in hit-and-run accidents in 2016. This is the highest total since the numbers began being tallied.

In New York, the numbers have varied. The year 2012 saw the highest number of hit-and-run fatalities, with 76 deaths. The year 2009 had the lowest number of hit-and-run fatalities, with 50 deaths. A reduction in accidents is consistent with the reduction in miles driven -- a statistic the U.S. Department of Transportation uses. Although other states -- notably New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida -- are the top three states with the most hit-and-run accidents, it does not mean that New Yorkers should not be cognizant of the possibility that they will be in hit-and-run accidents. Anecdotal evidence shows that it happens in New York as well.

Often, those who are injured or killed in hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians or bicyclists. Around 20 percent of pedestrian fatalities were hit-and-runs. Out of the nearly 2,000 hit-and-runs in which there was a death in 2016, slightly less than 1,400 involved pedestrians and bicyclists. Younger men have been found to be more prone to fleeing the scene of an accident. They generally driver older vehicles and have been drinking.

A hit-and-run crash is different from an accident in which the driver remains at the scene. It might take some investigative work to find the driver. Therefore, it is important to understand the laws surrounding hit-and-run car accidents and how to pursue compensation for medical costs, lost wages, lost companionship and more in a lawsuit.

Source: lohud.com, "Hit-and-run deaths on the rise, AAA says," Jordan Fenster, April 27, 2018

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
Fax: 718-447-9908
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