Hit and Run: The End of the Story?
For those of you who watched ‘Hit and Run’ on ITV1 on Wednesday (16/12/2014), there were some truly horrifying statistics regarding hit and run ‘accidents’. For those of you who did not see it, here are a few examples:-
- In 2013, 1,500 people were killed or seriously injured in hit and runs.
- In the past 5 years there has been an average of 68 hit and runs per year in the UK. Of these around 340 were fatalities.
The Greater Manchester Serious Collison Investigation Unit explained that many hit and run ‘accidents’ are intentional ie the vehicle is used as a weapon to inflict harm on another person or persons. There was some truly horrific CCTV footage of a group of friends being hit by a driver who accelerated and aimed for them as they were crossing the road. He then sped off leaving utter devastation in his wake.
For people who are left injured from such collisions, or the grieving families of fatality victims, all may seem hopeless. However, the programme also showed how there have been great strides in policing in recent years with more resources and technology being used to catch drivers who ‘hit and run’. One offender was tracked down simply because a wing mirror detached from his car and was left at the scene. It must have taken many man hours for the police to track him but track him they did.
The police reminded viewers that the first hour after a collision is crucial and the next 23 hours are also very important. The advice given was to report such collisions to the police immediately. The sooner it is reported the more likely they are to catch the offender.
Whether the offender is found and brought to justice or not, the effects of such an event to the victim and family are immense. It may not be something that you consider straight away but claiming compensation may help to alleviate some of the effects. For example, why should an innocent victim pay the medical bills created by your injuries or suffer lost earnings from being off work? Why should the grieving family pay the funeral costs of their beloved relative? They shouldn’t.
The law does offer a couple of possible options that allow the victim/bereaved family members to obtain compensation that can act as a financial cushion in the distressing aftermath of the accident. They are as follows:-
- There is the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority who, subject to certain conditions, compensates innocent victims of crime. In the case of hit and run collisions this would be where the car was deliberately used as a weapon to harm an innocent victim.
- There is also the Motor Insurers Bureau. Subject to certain conditions, this organisation provides compensation to innocent victims where the driver flees the scene. This would be where the collision was not deliberate ie the car was not used as a weapon but the driver causes an accident then leaves the scene and cannot be tracked down.
- Insurance companies. These will pay compensation, again, subject to certain conditions, when the driver causes an accident and is traced.
The law can be quite complex in trying to determine which, if any, of the above will pay compensation for injury and/or death, but Oakwood Solicitors are experts in Road Traffic Accidents and can assist you.
In order to claim we recommend that you follow this checklist:-
- Report the collision to the police immediately. This enables the police to investigate and try and track down the offender. With Motor Insurer claims they can reject your claim if you do not report the accident to the police quickly enough. Certainly do not wait more than 7 days to report the incident.
- Co-operate fully with the police. The Motor Insurers Bureau and Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority can both reject claims where the Claimant does not co-operate with the police.
- Retain evidence such as photographs of vehicle damages, parking receipts for medical appointments etc.
- Submit a claim as soon as possible while the facts are still clear in your mind.
If you have been injured from a hit and run accident, please fill out the following claim form.