Alcohol Impaired and Unlicensed Drivers Cause Many Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accidents

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While the holiday season brings many positive experiences including time with family, kids excitedly anticipating what Santa might bring and holiday feasts, this also is a dangerous time because the number of alcohol impaired drivers on the roadways of Louisville and the surrounding areas of Kentucky spike.  While intoxicated drivers may be held financially accountable for the injuries and wrongful deaths they cause, drivers committing DUI/DWI are also more likely to flee the scene of an accident site to avoid serious criminal penalties and exposure to civil lawsuits.  Pedestrians are harder to see and more vulnerable when struck by a drunk driver so they also are more likely to be the victim of a hit-and-run. Several fatal pedestrian accidents have involved hit-and-run drivers during the last few weeks in Louisville and the surrounding areas of the state: Morgan County, KY: Kentucky State Troopers told the WSAZ news channel that Elizabeth Thornsberry and Tony Ross had been at a bar in Maytown, KY.  Ross exited the bar and proceeded on foot with Thornsberry following in her car.  Thornsberry stopped her vehicle and got out of the car to talk with Ross.  They were both run down by a motorist who fled the scene. Nicholasville, KY: A 50-year-old woman Linda Wilhoite was pronounced dead at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital from multiple blunt-force injuries according to a statement from the Fayette County coroner’s office.  A police investigation is pending to determine the identity of the hit-and-run driver. These pedestrian hit-and-run accidents during the last couple weeks serve as a reminder of the risk that people who walk, jog or run will be involved in a hit-and-run accident.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that twenty percent of all fatal pedestrians involve hit-and-run drivers.  Because pedestrians are likely to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries when struck by a motor vehicle, drivers who slam into pedestrians often elect self-preservation over facing personal responsibility for pedestrian-car crashes. Evidence suggests that the most common reasons that drivers commit hit-and-run are to avoid the repercussions of being involved in a crash resulting in death or bodily injury when driving without a driver’s license or while under the influence.  The AAA Foundation reports that 21 percent of all fatal collisions involve drivers who do not have a valid driver’s license.  AAA also indicates that drivers without a valid driver’s license are 66 percent more likely to commit hit-and-run.  Many of these drivers have had their driver’s license suspended or revoked for prior drunk driving offenses. Drunk drivers may flee after hitting a pedestrian for a range of reasons that include the following:
  • The severity of injury in pedestrian accidents
  • Risk of criminal and civil liability for multiple violations related to an accident causing bodily injury, driving on a suspended license and/or DUI/DWI
  • Allowing a driver’s blood alcohol concentration to fall below the threshold for driving under the influence
If you or someone close to you is injured in a pedestrian accident by a hit-and-run driver, injury victims might have a legal claim for financial compensation.  Sometimes the driver is never located so we explore claims against other third parties like public entities, vehicle manufacturers, vehicle owners, employers of negligent drivers and even the victim’s own uninsured motorist coverage.  Our experienced Kentucky hit-and-run lawyers at the Bruce Law Group can answer your questions and explain your rights.  We offer a free consultation so call us today at (502) 489-8887 or contact us via email.