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Hit and Runs on the Rise in Kentucky and in Louisville

A car wreck can be one of the most traumatic experiences in modern American life, and a hit-and-run makes the experience even more taxing. In Kentucky, a staggering 11,312 hit-and-runs happened in 2021, of which 38 were fatal collisions and 1,037 were injury collisions, according to the Kentucky State Police.

With 109,291 reported collisions in Kentucky in 2021, hit-and-runs now make up over 10.4% of all motor-vehicle collisions in Kentucky, compared with 9.5% in 2019 and 8.5% in 2012. LMPD reports that in Louisville, hit-and-runs make up an even-higher percentage of motor vehicle collisions, constituting around 16% of Louisville’s overall crashes, or roughly 1-in-6 wrecks. These include several recent hit-and-runs in just the past week including a critical injury collision on I-64 in the Highlands on October 11, a fatality collision on October 6 on West Broadway, and a deadly hit-and-run on Cane Run Road on October 9.

Kentucky law (KRS §189.580) requires motorists involved in any kind of collision causing damage to property or bodily injury to others to immediately stop, ascertain the extent of the damage or injury, render reasonable assistance, and to contact emergency personnel. If the collision is on an interstate or vulnerable location, a motorist must move to safety before complying with these requirements.

Moreover, if a vehicle struck by a motorist is unattended, the motorist must ensure the owner of the unattended vehicle is provided notification containing their name, address, and vehicle registration number. Failure to follow the requirements of KRS §189.580 is a misdemeanor  offense, punishable by up to one year in jail, unless it involves a fatality, in which case it is a Class D Felony and is punishable by 1-to-5 years in state prison (KRS § 189.990).

Importantly, if you are injured in a hit-and-run, you can still obtain compensation for your injuries, including your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. Kentucky insurance policies are required to include underinsured and/or uninsured motorist coverage, also called UM/UIM coverage, and most drivers have this coverage unless they specifically reject being provide this coverage in writing.

UM/UIM coverage, from your own insurer, can provide you with compensation for your injuries from a hit-and-run similar to what the other driver’s insurer might have provided if they did not flee the scene. Importantly, any insurer will require a prompt police report if you are the victim of a hit-and-run before providing you with UM/UIM coverage, so be certain to contact police immediately for a thorough investigation of the collision.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a hit-and-run collision, do not hesitate to contact us at the Poppe Law Firm.

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