The selfish motives of those who cause accidents and then flee the scene include not having insurance, being wanted on bench warrants, or impaired by drugs or alcohol. Whoever chooses to “run” after causing an accident leaves the victims to deal with the emotional and physical fallout on their own.
One of the terrifying things that may happen on the road is to be the victim of a hit-and-run. You may have to bear the costs of the accident (medical bills, car repairs, etc.) on your own if the authorities cannot track down the at-fault party.
It might be difficult to determine the best course of action while seeking restitution. Should you use a lawyer to pursue compensation after a hit-and-run? We’ll explain how common hit-and-run accidents are in Indiana, why filing a claim is essential, and how a lawyer may help. To know more about your legal rights, visit this page.
Number of hit-and-run accidents in Indiana
Sadly, hit-and-run accidents involving motor vehicles are all too common in Indiana. In metropolitan settings, pedestrians and other road users are both common casualties in these types of accidents. The following data on hit-and-run incidents in 2020 are taken from the Indiana Crash Fact Book.
- A total of 14% of accidents in the state of Indiana were hit-and-runs.
- The rate of hit-and-run incidents was higher in urban areas.
- Allen County had a hit-and-run rate of 23.2%, St. Joseph’s was 23.0%, Marion County was 20.7%, Vigo County was 20.1%, and Lake County was 19.6% in urban areas.
- The months of March and April in Indiana saw the fewest hit-and-runs.
Hit-and-run legislation in Indiana
A hit-and-run driver in Indiana may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the damage caused. Hit-and-run drivers in Indiana have ten days from the accident date to file a police report; after that time, they risk criminal prosecution under Indiana Code 9-26-1-1.1. After a hit-and-run, you could face misdemeanor charges like:
The incident would be classified as a Class A if just minor injuries were sustained. The maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is $5,000 and/or up to a year in prison.
If no one was hurt, the accident is classified as Class B. Class B misdemeanor penalties can include up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.