Serious traffic accidents are on the decline, but hit and run cases are at their highest in over a decade.

New research shows that the number of hit and runs now account for just over 12% of all road traffic accident involving injury in the UK.

Common Causes of Hit and Run

Research from Leicester University’s Criminology Department on over 650 hit and run offenders showed the main reasons for motorists leaving the scene of the accident.

Almost half of drivers surveyed admitted they were unaware they were breaking the law by failing to stop, either claiming they didn’t feel the accident was serious enough to warrant reporting or not knowing how to properly deal with the situation.

It’s important to remember that even the most minor bump or scrape counts as an accident and needs to be reported. This includes if the other driver is stationary or away from their car.

For example, if you scrape somebody’s parked car in the supermarket, you are required to report by either locating the driver, leaving you contact details on the car or taking their registration plate number and reporting the accident to the police.

Other common reasons for a driver fleeing the scene were:

  • Driver’s not wanting to be caught committing a crime, such as reckless driving or driving under the influence (DUI). Therefore fleeing the scene in an act of ‘self-preservation’
  • The driver was unaware an accident had taken place
  • The driver’s judgement was impaired by drink or drugs
  • The driver ‘panicked’ and fled the scene

If You’re the Victim of a Hit and Run

If you’re injured as the victim of a hit and run, you may be in pain, disorientated and/or in shock. It’s important that you, the passenger (if there is one) or a member of the public in proximity to the accident contact the emergency services. Both the police and an ambulance (we recommend you receive medical treatment regardless of whether you feel you injuries are serious enough, you’re likely to be experiencing adrenaline and/or shock so the extent of your injuries may not be apparent at the time).

It is important to try and remember as much as possible about the accident as any information about the hit and run will be invaluable for the police and any resulting claim against the offending driver.

The most vital information you can take from the immediate aftermath is the offender’s license plate number, as this is typically enough to trace the other driver. If you’re unable get this, speak to witnesses nearby and get their contact information and take photos at the scene of the incident. If the police arrive, give them your version of the events and ask for the officer’s name and the case reference number.

Contact a solicitor

If you’ve been injured in an accident and you feel you weren’t to blame, you may be entitled to a road traffic accident compensation claim.

At Gorvins, we have a dedicated Personal Injury team who can not only help secure a compensation payment but also arrange rehabilitation to help you recover from your injuries and possible interim payments whilst you are of work.

To speak to one of our personal injury specialists about a possible compensation claim, ring us on 0161 930 5151.

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