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County Lawmakers Want to Increase Penalties for Hit and Run Drivers

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Two Suffolk County lawmakers, Steven Stern and Kate Browning, have proposed a new law that would increase penalties for those who leave the scene of a car accident that results in an injury or fatality. According to a news report in The Northport Patch, the two legislators said they are co-sponsoring the bill as a result of recent tragedies in several communities across Suffolk County.

The new law would authorize law enforcement officials to seize vehicles involved in hit-and-run accidents. Under current law, a hit-and-run driver can only be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by no more than one year in jail. Drunk drivers can be charged with a Class E felony, which usually causes an impaired driver to flee. The new law will hopefully deter drivers from leaving the scene of an injury or fatal accident, Stern said.

Statistics and Laws Pertaining to Hit-and-Run

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) statistics, and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately one out of every 10 crashes (about 11 percent) reported to the police in the United States involves a hit-and-run driver. It is also common for hit-and-run collisions to result in fatalities. From 1994 to 2003, 14,914 people were killed in hit-and-run crashes, the AAA Foundation reported.

According to New York Statute 600: “Any person operating a motor vehicle who, knowing or having cause to know that personal injury has been caused to another person, due to an incident involving the motor vehicle operated by such person shall, before leaving the place where the said personal injury occurred, stop, exchange information and report the incident to the authorities.”

Compensation for Victims

If you or a loved one has been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident, the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. We obtained $2,000,000 for a 6-year-old girl who was injured by a hit-and-run driver. The case was originally dismissed by the judge, but we aggressively appealed the judge’s decision and had it overturned. Our client received a $2,000,000 settlement when the case was retried.

Please contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com

Source: The Northport Patch

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