In the early morning hours on Sunday, April 3, 2011, a hit and run driver killed a 23-year-old Herndon man on Interstate 66. Hit and run accidents can happen anytime, anywhere; though statistically, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, fatal hit and run accidents occur most often on Friday, Saturday or Sunday (58 percent) and between the hours of 9:00 PM and 3:00 AM (47 percent).
When a vehicle collides with another vehicle, property or a human being, the driver must stop and provide certain information, such as his/her name, license number and insurance information. Exchanging such information is not a matter of courtesy; rather, it is a matter of law. When a driver flees the scene of an auto accident without providing the information required by law, that driver commits a criminal act known as hit and run. The reasons that drivers flee accident scenes vary, but two of the most common factors in hit and run accidents are unlicensed or illegal drivers and fear of Driving Under the Influence penalties.
In September 2009, The Washington Post reported a rise in fatal hit and run accidents in the Virginia-Maryland-DC region that mirrors a nationwide trend. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration:
An auto accident is frightening and stressful enough when the other driver stops to exchange information as required by law; however, when the other driver flees the scene, you may find yourself feeling especially helpless or angry in the moments after the collision. If you become the victim of a hit and run accident, the first thing you should do after the crash is to check yourself and all passengers for serious injuries. Immediately call 911 to request an ambulance if anyone has been seriously injured. If no one in the vehicle requires an ambulance, in addition to staying calm, you can take the following post-accident steps:
Contacting an experienced and knowledgeable Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer is another important step following a hit and run accident. A qualified attorney can answer any accident-related questions you have and assist you in investigating the facts and law surrounding your case. When the hit and run driver is found, a qualified attorney can help you determine what actions to take against the offender. If you have been the victim of a hit and run accident or if a loved one was killed by a hit and run driver, contact a Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney right away to find out your legal options.