Indianapolis ‘Hit-and-Run’ Accident Sets New Record
Earlier this month, a pedestrian was killed at East 10th Street and North Sheridan after being struck by a vehicle that then fled the scene.
According to WRTV, this recent hit-and-run marks the 21st of its type that resulted in a casualty.
Additionally, the accident marked a new record for Indianapolis, which should raise the level of caution amongst Hoosier drivers and pedestrians alike. (The previous record was 20 in 2011.)
And if the number of deadly hit-and-runs seem high, it’s even more concerning to learn this year’s (2022) total number of Indianapolis hit-and-runs that include non-fatal accidents: over 6,000.
Attorney Matt Boulton has investigated several hit-and-run cases throughout Indiana and is familiar with the complexities these case types offer. Below, he offers a few theories as to why Indianapolis is seeing such a number of fatal and non-fatal hit-and-run accidents.
What is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
First, it’s important to understand what constitutes a “hit-and-run” accident.
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It’s sometimes assumed that an accident only qualifies as a hit-and-run if the collision results in a serious injury. In reality, a hit-and-run is any accident that results in personal or property damage in which one or more drivers leave the scene of a collision without notifying and/or waiting for authorities to arrive.
A hit-and-run can include any combination of vehicle types, bicyclists, pedestrians, scooters, motorcyclists, and/or personal/public property.
It may also qualify as a hit-and-run accident if the driver says they were unaware of what exactly their vehicle struck.
Why Are There So Many Indianapolis Hit-and-Run Accidents?
The majority of hit-and-runs IMPD will investigate involve some type of property damage, i.e., a driver strikes a parked car or causes damage to public property and leaves the scene without notifying anyone.
As for the reason why there are more and more Indianapolis drivers leaving the scene of an accident, Matt suggests a few possible reasons:
Lack of Insurance
Indiana has consistently ranked in the Top 10 of states with the most uninsured drivers. This means thousands of Hoosier drivers are illegally operating an automobile.
The majority of uninsured drivers are aware that they are uninsured, and they know if they’re pulled over or involved in an accident, the legal repercussions can be more complex than those facing an insured driver.
As a result, assuming they will be fined or have their license suspended, uninsured drivers may be more likely to leave the scene of an accident. Of course, the punishment for leaving the scene of an accident is much more serious than simply being uninsured.
Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
In 2019, Indiana recorded 8,524 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol (this does not include any other type of drug). When you consider the number of drivers who were not caught or arrested for being under the influence of another type of substance, this number is alarming.
Matt has investigated a number of hit-and-run accidents in which the offending driver was located shortly after the collision and found to be under the influence.
Drivers under the under the influence who flee the scene and are later caught will often give on of two reasons they didn’t stop:
- They knew they were under the influence and afraid to interact with authorities, or
- They were so impaired they didn’t even realize that they had hit someone or something.
No matter the reason, being impaired and leaving the scene of an accident can amount to a lot more trouble than if the driver contacts and/or waits for authorities to arrive.
Hit-and-run accidents don’t only involve drivers who are illegally operating a vehicle. Matt has also investigated incidents in which a driver hit someone or something, became scared, and left the scene.
Anytime you’re involved in a collision there is going to be concern, no matter they severity or persons/property that are involved. However, fleeing the scene of an accident carries many of the same penalties for sober, insured drivers as it does for those driving illegally.
No matter your level of concern about ‘what might happen’, no driver should ever leave the scene of an accident without contacting authorities and/or awaiting their arrival. By staying at the scene, you avoid any additional charges that would accompany a hit-and-run accident.
Today, there are a seemingly endless number of driver distractions, and a number of Indiana hit-and-runs have been attributed to a driver who was texting or engaged in an activity that didn’t allow their focus to be 100% on the road.
In these instances, a distracted driver who flees the scene of an accident may cite a number of reasons for their leaving:
- They were worried that they would be ticketed for driving while distracted.
- They were unaware of who or what they hit.
- They were simply scared and unsure of what to do next.
Distracted driving remains a top cause of crashes throughout Indiana, however, being caught for driving distracted pales in comparison to leaving the scene of an accident.
A concerning number of Indianapolis’s hit-and-run accidents that involve one or more persons may result in various types of injuries, including:
- broken bones
- traumatic brain injuries
- soft tissue injuries
- wrongful death
- psychological trauma
Matt helps Indiana’s hit-and-run accident victims and their families with a variety of these injury case types.
Depending on the circumstances of a case, a hit-and-run victim may receive compensation from the liable driver’s insurance company, or if they are not located, through an uninsured claim with their own insurance company.
Indianapolis Hit-and-Run Personal Injury Attorney
Boulton Law Group has become a destination for injured Hoosiers who are seeking compensation after being injured through no fault of their own.
Founded by Matt Boulton, the firm caters to clients who desire a custom-legal strategy and one-of-a-kind personal service. When we say we aim to ‘Treated You Like Family’, we mean it.
Consulting with and/or hiring an Indianapolis hit-and-run personal injury attorney helps to ensure your legal rights are protected as well as improves the chances that your accident claim receives its maximum value.
If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, you can contact Matt by using the firm’s confidential, free contact form. There is never a cost for a review and you are under no obligation to hire us.
In fact, our Zero Fee Guarantee promises you never owe us anything unless we are hired and your case is won.