Collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians are unfortunately not uncommon in the U.S. Every year, thousands of pedestrians are killed in crashes and many more are seriously injured after being struck by a car.
Recently, a local news outlet conducted a survey in an attempt to figure out how bad of a problem this is in Tampa. The results indicate that pedestrian safety before and after a crash is a very real concern. Not only are there a troubling number of pedestrians being hit by cars, but many of the drivers who hit them don't stay at the accident scene.
According to the investigation, there were 18 incidents last year involving a driver who hit a pedestrian and then drove away. This year already, there have been 10 cases of hit-and-run pedestrian accidents.
It is not clear why drivers are not staying at the accident scene. They are likely not worried about fault, as in many cases, pedestrians were the parties at fault for the initial crash. However, there may drivers who are uninsured, unlicensed or impaired and don't want to be in a situation where they may need to talk to police. There are also times when drivers don't even know they've hit someone.
Whatever the case may be, the reality is that there is no good reason why a person should flee an accident scene. Parties involved in a crash are expected to stop, assess the damage, exchange information and call the police or an ambulance if necessary. This last step can be especially crucial after pedestrian accidents, as pedestrians can suffer extensive injuries after being hit by a car.
People who are injured by a hit-and-run driver are not simply out of luck when it comes to holding a negligent driver accountable. With the help of an attorney, it can be possible to work with police to investigate the accident thoroughly by speaking with witnesses, examining crash scenes and tracking down any surveillance video or other information that could lead to identifying the driver involved.
When and if the driver can be identified, it may be possible to seek civil damages if there is evidence his or her actions were negligent or reckless.
Source: ABC Action News, "I-Team breaks down Tampa hit-and-run crashes," Jarrod Holbrook, July 21, 2015