HIT-AND-RUNS: LEARNING FROM LANCE ARMSTRONG
The number of fatal hit-and-run crashes are increasing, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There were more fatal hit-and-run crashes each year from 2009 through 2012, the most recent year for which NHTSA statistics are available.
Cyclist Lance Armstrong’s recent hit-and-run will be included in future statistics. Armstrong was driving home with his girlfriend from a gala in Aspen, Colorado, when he struck two parked cars and then left the scene before police arrived. Armstrong and his girlfriend initially told police she was driving, but later confessed that Armstrong was behind the wheel.
Georgia lawmakers have enacted a “Hit-and-Run” statute. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270. Under this law, a driver who is involved in a motor vehicle accident must stop at the scene, provide certain information (name, address, vehicle registration number, driver’s license), render help to anyone who is injured, and if necessary, contact emergency medical services and local law enforcement. The consequences for violating Georgia’s hit-and-run statute are serious—in certain situations, drivers who leave the scene of an accident can face fines, loss of license, and even up to 5 years in prison.
In spite of the law, hit-and-runs are still a problem in Georgia. Already this year, a Walker County man was struck and killed by a driver who fled the scene and another driver who caused an accident in Acworth was killed trying to flee.
If you are hit by a driver who then runs from the scene, here are some things you should do:
1. Seek medical attention if necessary;
2. Get as much information about the other car as and driver as you can (make, model, color, license plate, description of driver);
3. Talk to any witnesses to learn if they have information;
4. Call the police and complete an accident report; and
5. If possible, take pictures of your vehicle and the scene.
After a hit-and-run, you should also contact an attorney to investigate your case. Quite possibly the most important and challenging task is locating the driver who fled—and the lawyers at Butler Tobin will go to the edges of the Earth to track down hit-and-run drivers to make sure they face the consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run collision, please contact us for a free in-home consultation.