State senator cited for fleeing the scene of Wilmington car accident

Event coincides with report detailing rise in serious hit-and-run accidents in North Carolina

A North Carolina state senator has been cited in a minor hit-and-run accident that occurred May 6 in downtown Wilmington, according to the News and Observer. The accident, although minor, coincides with a report released by the AAA of the Carolinas that hit-and-run accidents involving death or injury are on the rise both in the state and across the nation.

Senator fled scene

The senator was backing out of a parking lot in his GMC Sierra when he hit a yellow Honda, according to a witness at the scene. The witness tried to ask the driver of the GMC Sierra to get out of the car, but the driver drove away without stopping. The witness noted the car's license plate number. The state senator was later cited for failure to see before backing.

According to Wilmington Police, the senator has since cooperated with authorities. The damage to the Honda was estimated to be between $50 and $150. A spokeswoman for the police department said that so long as the senator's insurance covered the cost of the damage, the citation would likely be dismissed.

Rise in serious hit-and-run accidents

Although the case of this hit-and-run accident did not lead to any injuries, a report released by the AAA of the Carolinas is highlighting the growing danger of hit-and-run accidents across North Carolina, according to Chapelboro.com.

The AAA says that there is an average of five hit-and-run accidents causing injury or death everyday across North Carolina. The Tarheel State saw a 5.7 percent increase in hit-and-run injuries in 2012 and from 2010-2012 there were 91 hit-and-run-related deaths.

The one bit of good news in the report is that hit-and-run accidents were actually down in North Carolina for the year of 2013. However, according to AAA, the decrease in accidents was likely due to the bad weather experienced during the beginning of that year when fewer people were on the roads. The AAA is warning that as the weather this year begins to warm, hit-and-run accidents will likely increase in the coming months.

Dealing with a hit-and-run accident

Hit-and-run accidents can be extremely frustrating for victims since, in many cases, it can be difficult to track down the driver that was responsible for the accident. Drivers have a responsibility to remain at the scene of an accident and failing to do so can have severe consequences. Courts, for example, tend to take a much harsher view of drivers who flee the scene than they would of other drivers.

Anybody who has been the victim of a hit-and-run accident should contact a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Such a lawyer can advise his client about what financial and legal compensation may be available for the pain, suffering, and property damage incurred because of a hit-and-run driver.