Car accidents happen all the time in Louisiana and most of the time, the drivers involved in the crash stick around to make sure everyone is okay and to exchange insurance information. Unfortunately, some drivers involved in car accidents decide to leave the scene, which can be a felony in certain cases.
Hit-and-run accidents are not very common in the U.S., especially when the accident results in a fatality. However, reports show that over the last three years, 18 percent of drivers involved in fatal car crashes in New Orleans have left the scene of the accident compared to only four percent in the rest of the country.
Fatal hit-and-run car accidents have increased in New Orleans during the last few years and police have been unable to explain why the rate is so much higher. Law enforcement officials said there have been 21 fatal hit-and-run car accidents since 2011 in the city.
Officials said that more fatal hit-and-run accidents may be caused by the busy nightlife in New Orleans and the high rate of drunk driving in the city. They said that alcohol contributes to over 30 percent of all fatal car accidents that happen in New Orleans.
The fear of being arrested for drunk driving in New Orleans could be a main reason why more fatal hit-and-run accidents occur in the city. Officials say that individuals who drive drunk and kill someone in an accident face more penalties than individuals who flee the scene of a fatal accident, which could be why hit-and-runs have become more common in New Orleans.
Police said that drivers may flee the scene of a fatal car accident for many reasons, including driving drunk, driving with a revoked or suspended license, having an outstanding arrest warrant and even just out of panic.
Leaving the scene of a car accident is not only illegal but can result in more severe and fatal injuries to individuals involved in the car accident. Victims of hit-and-run accidents should know that they may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver responsible for the accident and consult with a personal injury attorney to decide what next steps to take.