The victims were walking west on Poplar across 18th Street when a red Chevy pick-up truck hit the pair and fled the scene. The victims were a father (49 years old) and son (19 years old) who are believed to have just left the Blues game. Reports indicate the father and son were walking in a marked crosswalk with the right-of-way when struck by the red truck. The father suffered injuries to his leg, while his son is reported to have sustained a significant head injury. The truck had Illinois license plates and was last seen in St. Louis City near Union Station where the crash occurred.
Cowardly hit-and-run accidents leave the victims in the worst possible situation: stranded, injured and in need of urgent medical care. When a driver leaves the scene of an accident, he denies the victim immediate life saving medical treatment and forces the injured party to fend for themselves. This lack of care for a fellow human being deserves the highest measure of punishment.
Hit-and-Run Accidents On The Rise.
According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hit-and-run accidents rose 13% from 2009-2011. The federal data also shows that hit-and-run deaths rose 13.7% over this same three year period. It is also reported that a large number of these crashes involve alcohol and drugs.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that 1 out of 5 of all pedestrian fatalities are the result of hit-and-run accidents. The Foundation also reported that 60% of all hit-and-run fatalities involve a pedestrian. Pedestrians are at an increased risk of significant injury without the protection of a surrounding motor vehicle to absorb the force of the impact.
Advice Following An Accident With A Hit-Run-Driver
A tragic number of people wake up in the hospital with significant injuries from a hit-and-run crash, asking themselves: What do I do next? Where is my car? Did they find the other driver?
First and foremost, make sure you receive the needed medical care to ensure you are in a stable condition. When you are finally discharged from the emergency room you will have a million questions. The most pressing will likely be related to whether the other driver was ever found, as well as the location and condition of your vehicle. The starting point for your investigation will be the Police Department Crash Report.
If the officers who arrived on the scene were unable to speak to you about the crash due to your injuries, they will often visit you in the hospital. If this occurs, they will likely give you a copy of the police report number and information pertaining to the location of your vehicle. If you are not visited in the hospital by the reporting officer, you can contact the nearest police department and explain your situation. They will likely be able to look up the report by the date, location, names, or vehicles involved. The police report is the starting point after any accident.
Once you have the police report, you will have some basic information of the details of the accident, such as names of drivers, whether the other vehicle was located, statements from parties and witnesses, insurance information, etc. If the other driver has not been located, you can also contact the police department and ask what is being done to locate the driver who caused your injuries. They should keep you informed on the status of their investigation.
What Happens If The Hit-and-Run Driver is Never Found?
It must be remembered that the local police department, especially the St. Louis City Police Department, is often overwhelmed with more immediate needs of the community. A shrinking budget or other pressing duties may delay or prevent an effective investigation into your case. Hiring a hit-and-run accident lawyer is a great way to ensure you have someone working for you immediately after a crash.
NOTE: If you lost a loved one as a result of a hit-and-run accident, it is important you act immediately to ensure your wrongful death claim is not barred by the Statute of Limitations. Failing to act can prevent you from bringing a claim in the future. Under Missouri Law, injury victims making a claim for themselves have longer to bring the claim than the family members making a claim on behalf of a deceased victim.
As an attorney representing hit-and-run injury victims and accidents with pedestrians, we will immediately go to work performing an investigation and trying to locate the at-fault driver. Often nearby businesses have cameras that may have spotted the license plates or other identifying information. These cameras often record over themselves after a few days, so it is important they are obtained as soon as possible. Witnesses also need to be interviewed to determine if any additional information can be gathered to locate the hit-and-run driver. A prompt effective investigation can gather the evidence that is often lost as time passes. This evidence can help locate the driver responsible for your injuries.
If the other driver truly cannot be located, your injury lawyer will help you pursue a claim for uninsured motorist benefits. If you are injured by a hit-and-run driver, even if injured in a pedestrian accident, and you have motor vehicle insurance of your own, Missouri law allows you to make an uninsured motorist claim to seek reimbursement for your injuries. These complex claims require careful attention to ensure you are not being taken advantage of by your insurance company.
If you have been injured, or lost a loved one by a hit-and-run driver, call us today for a FREE consultation. As a lawyer for hit-and-run accident victims, we have helped recover $35,000,000.00 for injury victims through judgments, settlements and verdicts. Call (314) 409-7060 to speak to a Top 100 Trial Lawyer.