Being in a car accident is difficult enough, but for victims of hit and run accidents, the consequences and the risks are far greater. According to Idaho law, drivers involved in any accident involving damage to a vehicle or injury to another person must stop, render aid, and report the accident to authorities. Victims of hit and run accidents face unique challenges. For one, these victims may not receive the immediate medical attention that they require because there is no one present to render aid. If the other driver was negligent in the accident, drivers involved in hit and run accidents may not always receive the compensation they deserve from insurers or negligent parties.
Yet, according to Boise State Public Radio, California is proposing putting in place a new alert system that could catch hit and run drivers and ensure that justice is served. The hope is that the Amber-Alert type system will prevent drivers from leaving the scene of the accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hit and run accidents increased by 13.7% between the years of 2009 and 2011. California was particularly hit hard, with as many as 50% of the accidents in Los Angeles being hit and runs. In hit and run accidents, alcohol is often to blame. Drivers want to avoid the serious consequences of a DUI, so they flee the scene of the accident. In many states, the consequences of a hit and run are less severe than the consequences of a DUI. Criminals sometimes hedge their bets. While states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona have enacted laws to close these loopholes, some intoxicated drivers still choose to flee the scene of an accident, taking the risk in order to evade the serious consequences of a DUI.
California’s proposed system would display the vehicle descriptions of possible hit and run perpetrators on the electronic displays over California’s highways. It is hoped that the alert system will catch criminals and deter drivers from choosing to flee the scene of an accident. In many cases, victims or witnesses are able to provide partial information about the driver or vehicle that fled the scene. With the alert system in place, law enforcement and citizens may be able to help catch criminals.
Colorado already uses a similar alert system to catch hit and run drivers, with good success. Other states have proposed initiating similar measures.
Would a similar hit and run alert system in Idaho protect victims of hit and run drivers? As it stands, many hit and run drivers flee the scene of an accident and are never caught or held accountable for their actions. This denies victims the right to seek personal injury damages or to benefit from insurance money from these responsible drivers.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Meridian or Boise, Idaho, a personal injury lawyer may be able to assist you. The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen works closely with victims of hit and run accidents and car accident victims in general to help them seek justice and compensation from negligent parties or from insurers, when possible.