A troubling type of accident has been on the rise in Indianapolis during recent years: Hit-and-Runs.
In 2018, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) responded to 2,218 reports of hit-and-run accidents throughout our city. In addition to the various types of injuries and property damage caused by hit-and-runs, 14 of these accidents resulted in a fatality.
And a recent hit-and-run accident on the southside of Indianapolis that left a man dead serves as proof that 2020 will not be immune from these types of collisions.
Types of hit-and-run accidents
The types of hit-and-runs commonly investigated by IMPD are often wide-ranging:
- Ordinary collisions between two or more vehicles in which one of the parties leaves the scene of the accident.
- Road rage incidents in which the aggressor disappears.
- A vehicle leaving the scene of the accident after striking a pedestrian or bicyclist.
- Street racing accidents in which one of the drivers cannot be found.
- Reports of property damage from hit-and-runs, e.g., unoccupied vehicles, mailboxes, street signs, etc.
No matter the type of hit-and-run, Indiana drivers who commit this offense can be charged with varying levels of misdemeanors and/or felonies, including time in jail or prison.
Involved in a hit-and-run accident?
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, you might be wondering who will pay for your medical bills and pain and suffering. There are a couple scenarios that typically occur in these instances:
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The driver who left the scene of the accident is never found.
If the at-fault driver is not located, Boulton Law Group will file a personal injury claim with your insurance policy. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the policy limits, your insurance company will be responsible for the following:
- All medical bills related to the hit-and-run accident.
- Time off work ordered by your doctor which results in lost wages.
- Compensation for pain and suffering.
In the event that you do not have first-party insurance, the at-fault driver would need to be located for a personal injury lawsuit to be filed.
The driver who left the scene of the accident is caught and/or turns themselves in to authorities.
If the at-fault driver is located, Boulton Law Group will immediately investigate to determine if there is third-party insurance. If we find that the driver was insured, our office will file a claim under their policy to seek compensation for your injuries.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run drivers who are eventually located are often found to be uninsured. This is sometimes cited as the reason they left the scene of the accident. (Another common reason drivers leave the scene of the accident is because they were under the influence.)
Hit-and-Run accident evidence
As one might expect, hit-and-run accident victims face unique circumstances. Not only must you contend with the usual burdens of being involved in a personal injury accident, but you are also left to wonder whether or not the other driver will ever be found.
The evidence that is recovered at a hit-and-run accident scene is especially important in the attempt to locate the other driver. The types of evidence that may be used to help locate a hit-and-run driver may include:
- Pieces of the other driver’s vehicle.
- Paint markings left on your vehicle as a result of the collision.
- Footage from street cameras, retail stores, and/or local residences.
- Witness statements.
- In some cases, body shops are put on notice to contact authorities if they receive vehicles with a specific type of body damage or marking.
For these reasons, Boulton Law Group strongly recommends that you contact an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer who can properly investigate the accident scene so that evidence is not lost or destroyed.
What charges might a hit-and-run driver face?
If the driver who struck you is caught and/or turns themselves in, they may be charged with any combination of the following:
- Class B misdemeanor – this charge is often reserved for hit-and-run accidents that result in property damage only and/or no bodily injury.
- Class A misdemeanor – this charge may be levied on drivers who leave the scene of an accident that involved minor bodily injury.
- Level 6 felony – this charge is handed out for hit-and-runs that result in serious bodily injury, e.g., broken bones, brain injury, spinal injury, etc.
- Level 5 felony – this charge is considered when the hit-and-run accident results in a wrongful death.
- Level 3 felony – this charge is reserved for hit-and-run accidents that were the result of a driver being under the influence of alcohol or drugs and resulted in bodily injury. Depending on the circumstances, a Level 3 felony may include prison time and/or fines.
Also, as expected, Indiana drivers who are charged with hit-and-run accidents will have their license suspended. In some instances, the State may decide to permanently ban a hit-and-run driver from obtaining a future driver’s license.
Talk to an experienced Indianapolis hit-and-run attorney
Attorney Matt Boulton has investigated and successfully handled several hit-and-run accidents on behalf of victims and their families throughout Indiana. His goal in each of these cases is to help ensure his client is justly compensated for their injuries or loss.
Many clients choose Boulton Law Group for its reputation as an award-winning firm, however, we are especially proud of the reviews we receive for our approach to client service. Much of our reputation as an understanding and friendly legal team is attributed to the firm’s motto: Get Treated Like Family.
Attorney Boulton founded the Boulton Law Group to give the injured people of Indiana, no matter their financial situation, access to a law firm that places as much focus on customer service as it does winning cases. With this goal in mind, we offer every hit-and-run victim a Zero Fee Guarantee.
Boulton Law Group’s Zero Fee Guarantee means that you will never pay for a consultation or legal advice. Also, the firm never receives payment for its legal services until after we win your hit-and-run case.
To speak to attorney Boulton at no cost, call 317-350-2680. If you prefer to send the details of your hit-and-run accident in writing, you can reach us by using our confidential contact form.