A hit and run is a road traffic accident in which a driver intentionally leaves the scene without leaving their contact and insurance details, leaving them effectively unidentified and untraceable.
A Common Occurrence
Unfortunately, this occurrence is more common than you might think and usually occurs when the other driver does not have valid insurance and wants to avoid Gardaí involvement, or in cases where the accident was their fault, simply does not want to face consequences of their actions. Following most car accidents, a claim for damages is made by the other party’s insurance provider. However, where a person flees the scene of an accident without leaving their details, you may still be able to make a claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). The MIBI was set up to compensate victims of road accidents that were caused by uninsured or unidentified drivers. The MIBI claim scheme is set up to cover personal injury claims regardless of whether the vehicle at fault is identified or not or is insured or not. It is advisable to contact a solicitor if you are unsure of how to claim for a hit and run accident as they will be best placed to represent your interests when submitting a claim to the MIBI.
Common injuries sustained in hit and run claims have included:
- Breaks and Fractures
- Back Injuries
- Head and Brain Injury
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Loss of Limbs
- Spinal Cord Damage
Causes of hit and run claims have included:
Speeding is one of the most common causes of road traffic accidents. If another driver is driving above the speed limit they are more likely to cause an accident as they may lose control of their car and hit another driver.
Disobeying the Rules of the Road
There is a universal expectation that all road users will obey the rules of the road, however, there are times when people will ignore the rules and accidents can occur.
Failing to Stop at a Red Light
There is a common expectation that all road users will obey the traffic lights. If any rules are broken the lives of others are put at risk. With oncoming traffic, if somebody breaks a light the liability may rest with them if they caused an accident.
Driver fatigue is a common cause of car accidents, particularly for those driving longer distances or those driving at night. Fatigue can lead to poor reaction times and reflexes while driving and in extreme cases can lead to a driver falling asleep at the wheel causing an accident. This can be a common cause of a hit and run accident as drivers may not be fully aware of the surroundings.
Using a Mobile Phone While Driving
Using a phone can distract a person in a number of ways and cause them to drive outside of their lane, become distracted and can also affect the speed they are driving at. This is a common cause of hit and run accidents as the person liable may not want it to be known that they were using their phone.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s driving ability and increase the risk of a collision. People who drive at the legal limit are 6 times more likely to be involved in a collision. When you drive under the influence you are breaking one of the most important rules of the road. This is commonly associated with hit and run accidents as people who cause an accident as a result of drink driving will not want to be found above the legal limit.
What to do after a road traffic accident?
Following a road traffic accident, whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, there are a number of steps you should follow:
- Seek medical attention
- Gather all relevant information at the scene
- Report the incident to the Gardaí
- Contact your insurance company
- Speak to a road traffic accident solicitor
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