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Hit-and-run car accidents on the rise in North Carolina

It is an unfortunate truth that negligent drivers occupy North Carolina's roads. At any given time, nearby motorists may be texting and driving, intoxicated, distracted, or tired, putting themselves and everyone around them in danger. It only takes a split second for these errant drivers to veer off course or break a traffic law and cause a severe injurious or fatal car accident that can leave victims and their families with long-lasting physical, emotional and financial damage.

Sadly, there is bad news for North Carolinians. According to AAA, hit-and-run accidents resulting in injury or death are on the rise throughout the nation and North Carolina. On average, five of these hit-and-run crashes occur in our state, a number that should put all at unease. The year 2012 saw a nearly six percent increase in injurious or deadly hit-and-run accidents and, though the start of 2014 saw a decrease, experts expect the numbers to rise and the weather warms and more people take to the road.

North Carolina's criminal penalties regarding hit-and-run accidents are relatively weak. They do not always impose jail time and they do nothing to help victims recover from their injuries and recoup their losses. The good news is that victims can file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver who caused the accident that injured the victim. Winning a case means a victim may recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and the errant driver will be held financially accountable, serving as another form of punishment.

Suing a negligent or distracted driver can be a battle. However, strong personal injury attorneys are willing and able to help victims bring their claims and fight for what is right and fair. Perhaps then a victim can find closure and the resources needed to get life back on track.

Source: Chapelboro, "AAA: Hit-And-Run Crimes Escalating Across North Carolina," Rachel Nash, May 8, 2014

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