Hit-And-Run Accidents on the Rise in Portland

Four people, including two young children, were involved in a late-night accident as their vehicle was run off the road by another vehicle. The driver in question left the scene of the accident, according to the Portland Press Herald.
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Maine State Troopers report that the victims’ vehicle flipped over in the accident along Interstate 295 in Cumberland. Luckily, officers were able to track down the dangerous driver later at her home in Portland. She has been arrested and charged with failing to report an accident and leaving the scene.

Our personal injury attorneys in Portland understand that this accident was caused by the careless passing driver. She was attempting pass cars on the right while heading southbound when she swerved back into her lane and slammed into the victim’s car. Upon impact, the victims’ vehicle went into the median and flipped over onto its side. The driver, a passenger and an 8- and 12-year-old child were taken to Mercy Hospital.

And as sad as it may sound, these kinds of accidents are on the rise. According to USA TODAY, hit-and-run car accidents are on the rise in cities across the nation. What’s even worse is that the number of these fatal accidents is on the rise, too. Now, Legislators are looking to strengthen laws to help to help hold fleeing drivers accountable.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatal hit-and-run accidents increased from less than 1,275 in 2009 to close to 1,400 in 2010 and to 1,500 in 2011. Overall, that’s a more than 13.5 percent increase in the number of these fatalities in the last 3 years. About 11 percent of crashes nationwide involve a hit-and-run driver, according to data compiled by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

“The problem is bigger than I think most people are aware,” says the president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Peter Kissinger.

Safety experts believe that there are many reasons why people hit-and run: they may be drunk; they might not have insurance; they might not have a driver’s license; or they might simply think that dealing with an injury or fatality accident is going to cost too much. Regardless of the reasoning, hit-and-run drivers leave a long trail of pain, loss and suffering in their wake.

As a matter of fact, hit-and-run accidents are involved in about 20 percent of all fatal pedestrian accidents. They’re also common among drunk driving accidents.

If a driver who stays at the scene of an accident involving death, the penalty could be as low as a citation. If a driver flees the scene, however, they could be slapped with a felony and can be sent to prison for up to 15 years and/or fined up to $10,000.

Victims suffer tremendously in these accidents. This may mean collecting through your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. Ensuring you have adequate coverage and enlisting the help of an experienced injury attorney can help mitigate the damage and loss caused by such accidents.

Contact the experienced injury lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates if you or your child has been injured in a car accident. Call 1-800-804-2004 for a free consultation to speak to an attorney about your case.

More Blog Entries:

“5 to Drive” Keeping Teens Safe Through Upcoming Holiday Season, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, November 1, 2013

Drowsy Driving Causes Teen Rollover Accident on Snows Cove, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, September 20, 2013

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