Hit and Run Accidents are on the Rise, Even in Nashville!
Luo Lang, a 44-year old Nashville woman, sustained critical injuries after she was struck by a hit and run driver while walking on I440 East near the Richardson Avenue Overpass.
According to WKRN News, the car that struck Lang slowed down for just a moment before speeding away. A police hunt ensued for the driver and vehicle — a gray Honda sedan with blue lights underneath and a shattered passenger side mirror.
The circumstances surrounding Lang’s injury are not fully understood. She was walking in the striped area between travel and merge lanes of the interstate when she was struck. It’s possible that Lang’s car had broken down and she was seeking help.
Regardless of Lang’s reason for being on the interstate, she suffered unwarranted consequences. She was transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, one of Nashville’s premier health institutes, with life-threatening injuries. Meanwhile, the driver who injured her disappeared into the night.
It’s this kind of injustice against innocent people which revs me up the most as an injury attorney.
How can Nashvillians Avoid Becoming a Hit and Run Victim?
Anyone can become the victim of a hit-and-run. Even more chillingly, the incidence of fatal hit-and-runs is on the rise, especially in growing urban areas like Nashville. USA Today reports a 13% surge in the incidence of fatal hit-and-runs nationwide in the years 2009-2011.
Metro Davidson Nashville Police actually has its own designated hit-and-run police unit, but it’s better to do everything within your power to avoid calling upon their services!
- Avoid situations that put you at risk as a pedestrian. Most fatal hit-and-runs involve fast-moving vehicles and pedestrians. There are some measures you can take as a pedestrian that will reduce your risk of being struck by a car.Avoid walking near fast moving traffic or in areas without sidewalks. Downtown Nashville and suburban areas like Brentwood and Belle Meade are generally pedestrian friendly. Walking near interstates or highways is much less safe.Do not jaywalk. Use crosswalks to get across the street and wait for traffic signals to cross.
Avoid walking in lowlight hours. If you must walk at night, wear reflective material or shine a light as you walk to alert drivers of your presence.
- Note the appearance of any car with which you are involved in an accident. Vehicular accidents are sudden, and panic is natural. Still, keeping a clear head immediately after an accident can save you expenses and legal tangles.Immediately look for the car that hit you.If you are able, memorize the license plate number and write it down.
If the car speeds away too quickly to read the license plate number, at least lock a description in mind. What color was the car? What make and model? Did it have any distinguishing features, including damage from the accident?
Talk to witnesses to make sure you’ve got your facts straight and to fill in any gaps.
- Get insured. Many hit-and-run drivers flee the scene because they don’t have auto insurance. That also means that they won’t be paying for the damage done to your health and vehicle. Being the victim of a hit-and-run is stressful enough without having to battle to get your medical bills and auto repair expenses paid for. For a small increase in your insurance premium, you can add uninsured motor vehicle coverage to both your medical and automobile insurance plans. Hopefully, you will never need this coverage, but if you do, you will be thankful for it.
What should you do if you are the victim of a hit-and-run?
Fleeing the scene of an automobile accident, especially when someone has been injured, is a criminal act in Tennessee. The driver who struck you or your vehicle should be prosecuted. As the victim of a hit and run accident, you are entitled to legal compensation.
As with any accident, you should begin by filing a police report. Whether it’s the THP or a local police department, give the officer all the information you have about the time, date, and location of the incident and the vehicle description.
If you are seriously injured, don’t worry. The officials who came to the scene to assist you will have collected information from witnesses. With luck, the authorities will be able to identify the hit-and-run driver.
As an injury attorney, I have helped countless innocent people secure compensation for their time, pain, and expense. Bringing injustice to a just ending is what I do best. When you choose an attorney to defend your rights, be sure that you choose an attorney with knowledge of your local area and a track record of successfully winning their clients’ cases.
Just because a hit and run driver left you in the dust doesn’t mean you have to deal with the consequences of the incident by yourself. You have rights, and you can come out on top of the situation.