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Hit-and-Run Accidents: Compensation and Criminal Penalties...

In road accidents wherein people sustain injuries or get killed, state traffic laws require the involved drivers, especially the one who is unhurt and conscious, to stop and provide all necessary assistance to the injured; it is also obligatory for the able driver to contact traffic enforcers (and wait for them to arrive at the scene) if someone gets killed in the accident. If both drivers are conscious and without serious injuries, however, then they should exchange information regarding their identification, contact details and insurance provider.

Though state laws may differ with regard to the severity of the crime and punishment to be imposed on drivers who speed away from the scene of an accident, the following are basic legal consequences:

  • Suspension or revocation of driver’s license (in some states, permanent cancellation of license is imposed)
  • Imprisonment and costly fines
  • Cancellation of the liable driver’s insurance policy

Since 2005, the yearly number of hit-and-run victims has increased steadily, causing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to be alarmed. The Administration’s records in fact show that, from 2009 to 2011, reported hit-and-run cases have risen from 1,274 to 1,449.

Hit-and-run, which is also called hit and skip, leaving the scene or skipping and fleeing an accident scene, means speeding away from the scene of an accident to avoid responsibility over an injured victim. This act, however, only makes matters worse both for the victim and the liable driver. On the part of the driver, leaving the scene can result to either a misdemeanor or a felony. This means time behind bars besides the punitive damages and compensatory damages he or she will have to pay.

For the victim, seeking compensation will be quite difficult, more so if there are no clues that will help identify who the liable driver is. Under this circumstance, the hit-and-run victim will have to collect from his or her own insurance policy. In states where no-fault auto liability insurance coverage is required, the victim can apply for a no-fault claim, otherwise, an underinsured or uninsured claim is the alternative option.

Types of Reckless Driving

In 2013, there were 32, 719 fatalities in the United States due to motor vehicle accidents. Even the safest drivers are not completely safe from the repercussions that other patrons of the road may cause due to dangerous driving habits. Reckless driving is defined as an individual operating a vehicle in a way that endangers himself or others. This definition includes potentially threatening the safety of other drivers, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

Common types of reckless driving include but are not limited to speeding, tailgating, failing to yield to other drivers or pedestrians, not adhering to traffic signs, aggressive driving tactics, drunk driving, or distracted driving. Careless driving, driving without due care and attention, and improper driving are all similar, but less serious, traffic violations that would result in less severe legal action. Whether the operator of the vehicle was unaware or purposefully behaving in a reckless manner, endangerment of public safety is considered a serious crime.

Reckless driving carries slightly different consequences from state to state. In most areas, driving recklessly is considered a misdemeanor and may result in fines, imprisonment, or suspension or revocation of the individual’s driver’s license. Many states require an individual to enroll in safe driving courses as a manner of educating and preventing the individual from inciting a similar incident. A charge of reckless driving may also have serious consequences to the defendant’s personal and professional life. The negligent and irresponsible behavior of others on the road can lead to serious injury and death of others. If you were injured in an accident due to reckless driving, consult an attorney in your state to discuss your legal options and receive compensation or the financial and emotional strain you suffered.

Motorcycle Accident: Causes and Tips on How Riders can Stay Safe...

The many great conveniences that motorcycles provide riders with, make up the reasons why these have become excellent means of transportation, especially for those who hate costly gas expenses and traffic. The only major concern with motorcyclists is their vulnerability to severe injuries for, other than the helmet, they have no other gear that will protect their body in the event of an accident. Thus, to reduce the possibility of sustaining serious injuries, the American Motorcycle Association (AMA), the world’s largest motorcycling organization, encourages all motorcyclists, especially its members, to always wear protective gloves, pants, jacket, footwear, and especially a helmet that fits the standards of safety required by the US Department of Transportation.

In 2012 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded as many as 112,000 motorcycle accidents; 93,000 of which were injurious, while 4,957 were fatal. This only means that though motorcycles offer lots of conveniences, these are also very prone to dangers.

While the major cause of fatality of motorcyclists is head-on collision with another motor vehicle, there are many other forms of accidents that can leave riders with a severe injury, an amputated limb or permanent disability – all of these, though, one should bear in mind, are due to negligence or carelessness of the riders themselves, of the other vehicle’s driver, or of someone who never did his/her job well (such as a road constructor or someone from the city government). From these three is the list of other causes of accidents, which include: poor riding skills, drunk riding, collisions with fixed objects, overspeeding, motorcycle lane splitting (which is when a rider passes between two stopped or slow-moving vehicles during heavy traffic), the driver of another vehicle failing to notice a motorcyclist while making a left-hand turn, other vehicles not giving the motorcycle its right of way, tailgating a motorcycle, poor vehicle visibility and/or stability on bad weathers, defective roads, road hazards, and so forth.

Though accidents do happen, having the proper riding skills, wearing the correct gears and always making use of common sense may just keep a rider away from these and other road angers. For a safer and truly enjoyable ride, motorcycle experts offer the following advice:

  • Enroll in a riding course, as much as possible, where one can learn the basics of riding a motorcycle as well as evasive maneuvers during emergencies
  • An over-the-ankle footwear and a reinforced, padded or leather jacket would be perfect with a pair of gloves and full pants for maximum protection against the chilling wind, flying bugs and road rash injuries. Bright colored gear would be recommended for easy detection by other drivers; otherwise, reflective labels on the bike or clothing will do
  • Never tailgate, especially a truck, and always keep an eye out for vehicles pulling out from parking spaces or side streets, or those making sudden lane changes. Keep away from drivers who are texting or using a phone while driving.
  • If there is bad weather, such as heavy rains, visibility is always affected and, due to the wet, slippery road, cornering and too much maneuvering can be dangerous as the tire’s grip on the road would definitely be affected. Therefore, make sure that you ride carefully
  • Stones, pebbles, sand, and an oily patch on the road can cause accidents that may result in severe injuries; therefore, make sure you always watch out for road hazards.

Motorcycle accidents due to road hazards or those wherein other vehicles are involved (called multiple-vehicle accidents) are usually the fault of a person other than the motorcycle rider. It will be very helpful for the injured rider to get in touch with an Madison car accident attorney, who will help the rider assess the situation and file the necessary lawsuit that may enable the rider to receive the compensation that he or she legally deserves.