Hit-and-run accidents can be really complicated not only for the police but also for the victim. If the victim ended up with severe bodily injuries or died because of the impact, the aftermath will be quite a challenge, in case the police don’t catch the liable driver.
The victim or their family will have no liable party to seek a compensation claim. And when you seek the claim from your own insurance company, the amount will never be nearly high enough to the one you need and deserve. Until you get the claim all medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related fees will have to be covered from your own budget.
No matter if the police catch the driver who hit you and then fled the scene, make sure to seek a New Mexico car accident attorney to help you with your case.
Reasons Why Drivers Flee in Hit-and-Run Accidents
There can be as many different reasons for this as there are drivers at fault. The most common reasons why a driver who caused hit-and-run accidents would escape the scene is panic and fear from the police. If this accident is not their first one, or they are known to the police for other convictions, they would panic and would rather escape than deal with the law again.
Some drivers simply have no insurance, so they fear that they will have to pay the compensation from their pocket, and decide to escape so they won’t have to deal with that.
Other drivers might be under the influence, and not even notice that they have caused hit-and-run accidents. In case they did notice, they fear that they will face serious charges for causing an accident while driving intoxicated.
Others might have been speeding and had no time to stop. The fear and panic will add to the adrenaline, so stopping is out of the question. In some cases, the driver won’t stop because they have stolen the vehicle. These people know that they will have to pay high fines, face driving license suspension, but also jail time.
If they were drunk, they will have to attend programs, lose their driving privileges (they will likely have to install an ignition lock). Let’s not forget that severe and fatal accidents can affect their career as well. If they have a professional license, it may be affected; their record will forever have this accident on it which could lead to them losing their job, getting expelled from school, not being able to enroll in certain colleges, or seek jobs in certain professions.
Consequences of Hit-and-Run Accidents for the Driver
The state of New Mexico has specific laws when it comes to hit-and-run drivers. According to the New Mexico Statute, the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident that caused an injury or death to any person must immediately stop their vehicle at the accident scene. If a person fails to do this or to comply with the requirements where the crash ends in severe bodily injuries or death, is guilty of a 4-degree felony.
If a person knowingly refuses to stop or comply will be charged with a 3-degree felony. In case the person fails to stop but the hit-and-run accidents didn’t end in a great bodily injury, or death, the person is facing misdemeanor charges.
Compensation for the Victim
It’s in the victim’s and the police’s interest to catch the driver. But, it’s not uncommon for drivers who flee hit-and-run accidents to get away with their crimes.
Being involved in a hit-and-run accident it’s important to memorize the driver’s license plate number or at least memorize the type of vehicle they were driving. Any information would help the police. If there were witnesses, chances are they might have witnessed the car, the plates, and even the driver.
If the vehicle is identified, you should get a personal injury attorney to help you with your case. They will be of great help for many things including an additional investigation, negotiation with the insurance company, trying to help you get a compensation claim if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, and so on.
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident in New Mexico our team at FBD Law is here to stand by your side. Call our office and let us review your case and stand by your side. We’ll give our best to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.