Indianapolis, Indiana is a family-friendly city with a thriving arts and entertainment scene: The city boasts a theater district, a plethora of live music venues, and the largest children’s museum in the world. Time Magazine named Indianapolis one of the “World’s Greatest Places of 2021.” In 2022, it’s estimated that 28 million people will visit Indianapolis, and even the Indianapolis International Airport holds universal appeal – Condé Nast Traveler named it the #1 airport for six years in a row. However, even in a city with the appeal of Indianapolis, unexpected car accidents can occur.
As Indianapolis continues to grow and soar toward a population of 1 million, city and highway traffic grow more congested. Car accidents are bound to increase as people flock to live in the greater Indianapolis region.
If you’ve suffered in a hit-and-run accident in Indianapolis, you may feel traumatized and overwhelmed in the aftermath. If law enforcement doesn’t find the hit-and-run driver, you may find yourself dealing with costly car repairs and medical bills on your own.
Where can you turn? Will insurance companies readily give you the money you deserve for your pain and suffering?
An Indianapolis hit-and-run accident lawyer can stand in your corner and help you navigate the legal path to compensation you may be required to journey down.
Hit-and-run accidents in Indianapolis
Unfortunately, in Indianapolis, hit-and-run car accidents occur with a relatively high rate of frequency. Urban pedestrians often fall victim to these crashes. Hit-and-runs occur on the highways outside of the city as well. Here are some vital statistics on hit-and-run accidents in Indianapolis:
- In 2022, there were 3,739 hit-and-run accidents in Indianapolis
- In 2020, there were 24,982 hit-and-runs in Indiana
- In Indianapolis, 130 pedestrians and 42 bicyclists have been struck by hit-and-run drivers
- 21 pedestrians were fatally struck in Indianapolis in 2022; this is double the number of pedestrians hit in 2021
- In 2021, hit-and-run accidents accounted for 14% of all Indiana collisions
- The lowest number of hit-and-runs in Indiana occur during March and April
- In 2020, driver-related factors were the reason for 85% of all collisions in Indiana
- Unsafe drivers are responsible for more than half of all accidents in Indiana
You need to know these Indiana hit-and-run accident laws
In Indiana, if a driver responsible for a hit-and-run accident flees the scene, they could face misdemeanor or even felony criminal charges. Indiana state law IC § 9-26-1-1.1 states that drivers must remain on the scene of their accident. Anyone involved in a hit-and-run accident still has ten days to report to authorities. Nonetheless, this does not absolve a hit-and-run driver from criminal or civil consequences. A driver involved in a hit-and-run accident could face the following charges:
- Class A Misdemeanor: This charge stems from any minor injuries an accident victim suffers. If found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, a hit-and-run driver could face a $5,000 fine and/or up to one year in jail.
- Class B Misdemeanor: Class B misdemeanor charges could be filed if an accident did not injure anyone. Class B misdemeanors could result in a $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail.
- Level 3 Felony: A hit-and-run driver who severely injures or kills someone, or, who was under the influence of alcohol or impairing drugs may face a severe penalty. A Level 3 felony conviction could equal a $10,000 fine and may result in a 3 to 16-year prison sentence.
- Level 4 Felony: A hit-and-run driver who causes death, disability, or permanent injury could face a Level 4 Felony charge. Level 4 felonies may result in a $10,000 fine and/or 2 to 12 years in prison.
- Level 6 Felony: A hit-and-run driver with a criminal record and/or causes moderate to severe injury could face anywhere from 1 to 6 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Why you should see a doctor after your hit-and-run accident
Many Indianapolis hit-and-run accidents result in severe injury and tragically, death for victims. If you walk away from a hit-and-run with minor bruises or scrapes, you may feel that seeking medical attention is a waste of time. However, infections in small cuts can develop subtly and become life-threatening; your insurance company may cover the expense of a doctor’s visit, and if the hit-and-run driver is apprehended, they will be held responsible for the injuries they’ve inflicted.
Any and all injuries should have proper medical documentation if you choose to pursue a civil claim. An Indianapolis hit-and-run lawyer will use this documentation to present as evidence in any personal injury claims you may pursue.
What injuries may result from your Indianapolis hit-and-run accident
After you’ve experienced an Indianapolis hit-and-run accident, you may find yourself suffering from a number of injuries. Hit-and-runs come as a shock and often result in moderate to severe injury. Your injuries could include:
- Bone fractures
- Facial injuries
- Loss of limb
- Road rash
- Subdural hematomas
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Torn ligaments
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Statute of limitations for compensatory claims
According to Indiana state law IC § 34-11-2-4, you have two years to file a compensatory claim after your hit-and-run accident. Thus, it’s important that you begin the filing process quickly. Even if the hit-and-run driver has not yet been arrested, you should contact an Indianapolis hit-and-run accident lawyer in the initial aftermath of your collision.
Possible Compensation for your Indianapolis hit-and-run accident
The trauma you endure as a result of your accident may entitle you to various types of compensation. Reasons for compensation may include, but are not limited to:
- Lost wages or lost potential income: Any present or future time you have to take off of work as a result of your accident. Missed benefits, bonuses, paid leave, and tips also fall into this category.
- Medical expenses: Ongoing and past medical expenses including – but not limited to – doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and surgeries.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation based upon physical and mental anguish as a result of your hit-and-run accident.
- Emotional distress: Any emotional or psychological trauma you’ve endured and any professional help you’ve received as a result of your accident may be compensated.
- Punitive damages: These are monetary damages awarded to you by a judge or jury as punishment to a hit-and-run driver.
Why you need an Indianapolis hit-and-run accident lawyer
In lieu of the identification of the driver responsible for your hit-and-run accident, insurance companies may not be quick to pay out your settlement. Chances are, you may have to file a claim with the courts. You shouldn’t have to take on this burden alone. It’s vital to have an expert Indianapolis hit-and-run accident lawyer in your corner to help you find the justice you deserve.
If you choose to work with us after your hit-and-run accident, we will pour our vast resources into building your strongest case. At Yosha Law, we are passionate about our clients and consider them part of our family. We will help with your personal injury claim and fight for what you’re owed.