Hit-and-run Cases in Ohio
Hit-and-run incidents are becoming an increasing concern on the roads of Ohio, where victims are left with physical injuries, emotional suffering, and financial hardships. Lately, there has been a notable increase in hit-and-run incidents within the state, causing authorities to respond promptly and effectively to combat this worrisome phenomenon. As per the data in 2018, the (Automobile Association of America) AAA recorded more than one hit-and-run each minute. In addition, roughly 682,000 hit-and-run incidents have occurred yearly since 2006.
Why Do Hit-and-Run Accidents Happen?
Several factors result in drivers abandoning the location of a crash involving injuries or fatalities. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- The person behind the wheel becomes frightened and flees without deliberating;
- The individual operating the vehicle was engaged in reckless behavior, such as excessive speeding, texting while driving, or disregarding other traffic regulations.
- The driver lacked a valid permit or did not receive coverage from an insurance policy;
- The driver was affected by the sway of substances or alcohol.
What Are Ohio’s Laws Regarding Hit and Runs?
In general, when people are involved in a car accident, they have a legal duty to stop and provide aid to anyone wounded or injured in an accident.
Neglecting to do this and departing from the location following the crash qualifies as a hit-and-run. People who drive without insurance are fearful of the penalties for causing an accident and are more likely to conduct hit-and-runs. There are many degrees of penalties for a hit-and-run, such as –
Felony Indictment: Recurring violators or individuals who cause severe physical injury or harm to personal property in a car accident might encounter grave legal allegations. Penalties may differ from 5,000 USD and 20,000 USD. People may encounter 15 years of imprisonment.
Charged with a misdemeanor: These offenses, although not as severe as serious crimes, are still significant violations of rules and regulations. In these cases, Individuals might be penalized up to 500 USD, incarcerated for up to half a year, and have their driver’s permit canceled for 26 weeks.
What Should You Do If You’re a Victim of a Hit-and-Run?
Following a hit-and-run accident, the aftermath may be overwhelming, filled with shock and dread. However, your actions shortly after the occurrence might substantially influence your claim. It is essential to contact the police and get medical assistance if necessary. Consider the following measures if you can do so safely:
Gather Information: Try to recall any information about the automobile, such as its make, model, color, or license plate number. Take down the driver’s description as well, if feasible.
Photograph the Accident site: Photograph the accident site, including the damage to your car and any other pertinent facts. These images might be crucial proof for your claim.
Locate Eyewitnesses: Speak with any witnesses to the accident and get their contact information. Their comments might give critical third-party descriptions of what happened.
Police will investigate once you report the accident and provide them with any information you have. This might include evaluating security camera videos from surrounding businesses or houses and pursuing new leads via community outreach and social media.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Ohio and Penalties
In Ohio, drivers involved in public accidents must stop and identify themselves as required by law. If the drivers own the car, they must stop, address and identify themselves. If not, they must reveal owner information. The driver must identify injured people and respond to the police and other drivers. The motorist must wait for a police officer if an injured person cannot offer information.
When an unattended automobile or property is involved, the driver should place their contact details inside or on the damaged vehicle. A motorist must report a non-public property collision within 24 hours of the accident, and fleeing the crime scene is considered punishable.
Per the law, if you choose to depart from where an accident occurred without fulfilling your obligations, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor offense that may lead to imprisonment for 180 days and impose a financial penalty of $1,000. Also, serious injury hit-and-runs are labeled as fifth-degree criminal acts. Hit-and-run causing death carries a one-to-five-year jail sentence.
Additionally, there is also a fine of $10,000 that may be imposed.
How do I receive damages if I can’t identify the hit-and-run driver?
One can claim insurance if the driver is caught during the accident; however, if the scenario is otherwise, your insurance policy might pay you if you bought specific extra coverage. Examples of optional coverage in Ohio that might cover hit-and-run damages include:
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage: UM coverage pays for injuries and property damage if you or other people in your car get in a crash with an uninsured driver or a driver who can’t be found.
Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage: No matter who was blamed, PIP coverage gives up to $10,000.
MedPay coverage: This coverage compensates for medical bills and expenditures regardless of the person.
In conclusion, hit-and-run cases in Ohio present significant challenges for victims seeking justice and compensation. To combat this problem, increasing awareness, promoting responsible driving, and fostering a culture of accountability among drivers is crucial. Upholding regulations and community support can lead to safer roads and fair treatment for those affected.
In the event of a hit-and-run case, it is imperative to seek legal advice from an experienced Ohio vehicle accident lawyer, such as Mark A. Ziccarelli, who can identify what relief you can get as a victim of hit-and-run and way forward.
The Law Offices of Mark A. Ziccarelli bring more than 60 years of experience to the table, proving that they are the top choice of personal injury lawyers who have handled and won hit-and-run cases throughout the years.
So, what are you waiting for? Get a consultation today!