Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

How Often do Hit and Runs Happen?

What can be done when a hit and run driver causes injuries or a wrongful death? Hit and runs are among the most devastating types of accidents. Not only do they cause serious personal injuries and the loss of loved ones, they force accident survivors to wait until the responsible party is tracked down. This is when you better have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage at high levels of coverage. Many people forget about this and do not buy more than minimum state coverage.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit and run drivers killed an average of 1,500 motorists and pedestrians each year from 1994 to 2003. Of these, 60% were pedestrians. Police reports from this period indicated that approximately 11% of motorists fled the scene of the accident. The research also indicated that 58% of fatal accidents took place on weekends and 47% occurred between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm.

It is a growing problem and data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that in 2011, 19%, or roughly one in every five pedestrian fatalities involved a driver fleeing the scene of the accident. The data also shows that the number of fatal accidents is rising after having fallen from 2003 to 2009. In 2009, there were 1,274 hit and run accidents that caused a fatality. By 2011, that number had risen 13% to 1,449.

Individuals who are responsible for fleeing the scene of an accident can face both criminal and civil penalties for their actions when they are caught. Changes that became law in 2011 mean that this behavior is a misdemeanor in Kansas where minor property damage less than $1,000 and/or minor injuries are suffered. It is a felony if significant bodily harm occurs. In many cases, accident survivors and witnesses to the accident are called to testify about the impact of the incident on their health and property. While Kansas law allows for the award of punitive damages against hit and run motorists, the truth is that many uninsured motorists don't have significant assets which means that while an individual might be awarded significant punitive damages, it does not mean they will receive them. You have to protect your family with UM and UIM coverage. I recommend a minimum of $250,000.00 per person and $500,000.00 coverage.

Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illiniois and Nebraska have significant rates of uninsured/underinsured motorists. These rates are rising and it is common for uninsured drivers to flee the scene of the accident because they don't have insurance coverage. Because of this, Kansas and many other states require motorists to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000.00 per accident of Bodily injury liability coverage and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

When a hit and run accident occurs, it is this coverage that individuals can use to file an insurance claim with their own insurance provider. Because automobile accidents can cause severe personal injuries, it is advisable for motorists to carry more coverage than the state's required minimum. However, having this insurance does not always mean money will be received. In situations where an individual's insurance provider refuses to honor this coverage and offer a fair amount for the damages incurred, you may have to file suit and then you need Brad Pistotnik Law.

Brad Pistotnik Law represents clients involved in hit and run accidents in Wichita, Colby, Hays, Garden City, Salina, Wellington, Newton, McPherson, El Dorado, Emporia, Liberal, Goodland, Dodge City, Kansas City, and other cities in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, and Illinois. Our firm represents clients in cases against hit and run drivers as well as insurance providers who act in bad faith when processing claims for personal injuries, property damage, and wrongful deaths stemming from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents and farm accidents.

We are Brad Pistotnik Law. ® We are Abogado El Toro. ® Hire the real Brad. ® Call in the Bull. ® We are the Bull Attorneys! ™ Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL. Our main office location is at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita Kansas 67206.