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Hit-and-runs becoming a problem in Philly

blurry nighttime view of a truck about to crash into the side of a car in an intersection

An attorney explains why hit-and-run accidents are on the rise in Philadelphia

Philadelphia police are actively searching for a driver who ran a red light and caused a hit-and-run accident, injuring a woman in the other vehicle, according to ABC 6 News, which recently aired a story about the police search for the hit-and-run driver. Sadly, these types of accidents have become increasingly common nationwide and in Philadelphia in particular, according to attorneys who handle such cases in Philly and throughout Pennsylvania.

This hit-and-run accident happened on June 2 at around 9:45 p.m. at the intersection of L Street and Erie Avenue, according to ABC 6 News. A woman was driving south on L Street. A van going west on Erie Avenue hit the side of the woman’s car twice. Security video footage from a nearby pizza restaurant showed that the van ran a red light, hit the car, crashed into a fence in a nearby shopping plaza, and fled the scene of the accident.

Witnesses attempted to follow the van but could not keep up. Another witness said the van’s driver removed his license plate almost immediately after causing the hit-and-run accident.

"This was a guy who blatantly did not care, he did not care. He hit me and kept going,” said the injured woman.

How common are hit-and-run accidents?

While hit-and-run accidents might seem rare, they have become increasingly common in recent years. Nationwide, one hit-and-run accident occurs nearly every minute in the United States, according to statistics compiled by the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety. In addition, hit-and-run accidents account for 5% of all traffic fatalities. Deaths have increased by roughly 7% each year.

As for Philadelphia, hit-and-run accidents have increasingly become a problem here, as well. As of October 21, hit-and-run accidents accounted for 21% of traffic fatalities in Philadelphia last year. In contrast, hit-and-run fatalities in Philadelphia during the same time period in 2019 accounted for just 14% of all traffic fatalities in the city, according to ABC 6 News. In addition, traffic fatalities overall in Philadelphia were up significantly during the same time period last year. There were 112 fatalities overall as of Oct. 7, 2020, compared to all of 2019, when 90 people died in fatal car accidents in Philadelphia.

"I'm already alarmed and I'm sure that my superiors are alarmed, as well," Philadelphia Police Captain Mark Overwise said in an interview with ABC 6 News last October.

Who pays for accident expenses?

One of the most complicated and most frustrating aspects of hit-and-run accidents can be getting the financial compensation you deserve for medical care, vehicle repairs, replacement income, and other expenses.

Because the at-fault driver fled the scene of your accident, you will likely need to file an insurance claim with your own insurance company. This process should be easier if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In such cases, your insurance company should compensate you for certain expenses like medical care. You will likely need to pay for repairs to your vehicle out of your own pocket, however, since those expenses are not covered by liability insurance.

If you have so-called “full coverage car insurance,” the liability portion of your insurance should pay for:

  • Medical care
  • Car repairs
  • Other so-called third-party losses

Full coverage car insurance is often understood to mean that you have more than the state’s minimum liability coverage amount.

You may be legally entitled to receive financial compensation from your insurance company after a hit-and-run accident, but that doesn’t automatically mean you will receive money. Many times, your own insurance company can be difficult to deal with. This is the case especially if your accident claim is significant, which is why it’s critical that you have an experienced attorney working for you.

How can a lawyer help me?

Don't let the insurance companies set the agenda. You can dictate what happens next. Get a lawyer who knows how to handle hit-and-run accidents on your side. We can explore all the legal options available to you and we can develop a strategy designed to obtain maximum financial compensation.

At The Hanamirian Firm, PC in Philadelphia, our dedicated attorneys have years of experience handling a wide range of complicated legal cases. Our law firm was founded in 1985. We have the knowledge and the expertise you need to build the strongest possible legal case. Our firm will work tirelessly in support of your injury claim. We will:

  • Carefully review traffic camera footage
  • Track down witnesses if possible
  • Consult accident-reconstruction experts, if necessary

To learn more about how our law firm can help you with your hit-and-run accident, simply contact us and schedule your free case evaluation at our office on Walnut Street in downtown Philadelphia.

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