Indiana hit-and-run accidents can prove challenging from a civil litigation standpoint for a myriad of reasons, sometimes even if the driver is found. Contacting an experienced Highland injury lawyer is imperative to maximizing the chances of accountability and compensation.
A recent Indiana hit-and-run crash resulted in one woman losing her life and a man facing a felony charge. Investigators in Indianapolis told the Indy Star on early Sunday morning that a car accident occurred on 34th Street, where officers responded to the scene to discover a passenger car literally split in two. There was no one in it. But nearby, occupants of a Dodge Neon, a man and woman both age 22, were critically injured. The driver was treated at a local hospital, while the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers discovered a man believed to be the driver a short time later. He is believed to have fled the scene on foot, and authorities suspect alcohol was a factor in the crash. He has been arrested on a charge of failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving death, a felony.
Our Highland auto accident attorneys know there are numerous avenues one might consider pursuing to seek damages following a hit-and-run accident. Some of those include:
- The driver of the vehicle. This of course assumes the driver is ultimately identified. Indiana is a tort state, also known as a “fault” state (as opposed to a no-fault state), so people injured by the negligence of others can directly pursue action against the at-fault driver, as opposed to being required to first seek compensation from PIP (personal injury protection) or MedPay coverage.
- PIP/ MedPay/ PUP (personal umbrella policy). Although these types of insurance are not required, they are often highly recommended and can be especially important in a hit-and-run crash, particularly if the driver is not identified.
- Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM). The State of Indiana does not require motorists to purchase UIM/UIM coverage, but it must be offered with every newly written policy, and it is included unless the insured explicitly rejects it. UM coverage will be applied in cases in which an at-fault driver either does not have insurance or is not identified (i.e., hit-and-run crashes). Minimum limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash for bodily injury, plus $10,000 for property damage. This coverage is often used even when hit-and-run drivers are found.
Hit-and-run crashes are a growing problem in the Hoosier state, according to data prepared by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. Fatal hit-and-run crashes in the state rose by 6.1 percent between 2008 and 2012. These crashes also result in hundreds of incapacitating injuries in the state each year.
The Insurance Information Institute reports the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes nationally has risen, reaching about 1,500 annually. Approximately one in five pedestrian crashes involve hit-and-run drivers, while 60 percent of all hit-and-run fatalities are pedestrians.
An estimated 11 percent of all police-reported crashes involve at least one driver who flees the scene. That’s why it’s so important for drivers to make sure they are adequately insured. If you have been injured in a hit-and-run crash in Highland, our experienced injury lawyers can help you explore your legal options.
Indiana Injury Attorney Burton A. Padove handles personal injury claims throughout northern Indiana, including Highland, Gary and Hammond. Call Toll Free 877-446-5294.
Indianapolis man arrested in west-side hit-and-run that left woman dead, April 23, 2017, by Justin L. Mack, IndyStar
More Blog Entries:
Jurors Award $6.1 Million in Fatal Indiana Crash, April 19, 2017, Highland Car Accident Lawyer Blog