For residents in Pittsburgh that have suffered the loss of a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, the anger and the pain that accompanies it will be compounded if it is a hit-and-run. Drivers who are in an accident are obligated to remain at the scene to exchange insurance information, check for injuries and call for help if it is needed. Leaving the scene is a criminal act, and the family of a deceased victim will want answers and justice.
Researchers examine hit-and-run fatalities and found that the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes occurring each year is increasing. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted the study. In it, it was discovered that there were 2,049 deaths in hit-and-run accidents in 2016. This is the most ever recorded. In addition, there was a rise of 60 percent since 2009. An estimated 65 percent of those who died were on a bicycle or were pedestrians. Also at risk were those who were working on highways. The number of hit-and-run fatalities across the nation rose by more than 7 percent for every year from 2009 onward.
In total, there was an average of 682,000 hit-and-run accidents in each year since 2006. This comes to one such accident per minute on the nation's roads. While researchers were unable to pinpoint precisely why there has been this worrisome increase in hit-and-run accidents, it is believed that the growing number of drivers who operate their vehicles while distracted is a factor. It is also possible that the greater number of people who are choosing to use a motor vehicle to get around has raised the chances of fatal hit-and-runs because there are more people in jeopardy.
Those who have suffered the loss of a loved one in a fatal car crash that is also a hit-and-run must be aware of the problems they will face in the aftermath. The contributions of a lost loved one can be substantial. The emotional, financial and personal impact can be enormous. Having legal assistance can ensure a full investigation is conducted to find the driver who fled and take the necessary steps to seek compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. This civil action could help hold a negligent driver accountable while also helping to recover compensation for losses suffered.