A 10-tear-old Northern Virginia girl suffered a broken arm, cuts and bruises in a hit-and-run pedestrian crash. The incident happened near the intersection of Armstrong Street and Linden Street in Fairfax on the afternoon of Saturday, May 6, 2017.
According to news reports, a driver struck the girl with his vehicle’s passenger-side mirror. The driver initially remained on the scene but fled when asked to provide identification. A man believed to the at-fault driver was arrested and charged four days after the collision. It is unclear whether he holds a valid driver’s license or carries car insurance.
The incident shares many characteristics of a typical collision that leaves a pedestrian injured or killed. Data analyzed for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that drivers are most likely to hit pedestrians on Fridays and Saturdays. Additionally, roughly 20 percent of the most-serious pedestrian crashes are caused by hit-and-run drivers.
Virginia law makes leaving the scene of any crash without sharing identification a felony offense. Specifically, section 46.2-894 of the state code states, in part, that “the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident in which a person is killed or injured or in which an attended vehicle or other attended property is damaged shall immediately stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic … and report his name, address, driver's license number, and vehicle registration number forthwith to the State Police or local law-enforcement agency.” Violating this requirement, or the related legal duty to “render reasonable assistance to any person injured in such accident,” creates responsibility for compensating victims.
The NHTSA study found that “on average, 13 pedestrians die in vehicle crashes each day, or one pedestrian every 107 minutes.” While the young pedestrian should recover, her family will no doubt face high medical bills. Holding the at-fault driver accountable for settling insurance claims may be difficult if he is unlicensed. Working with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer to file claims under the uninsured motorist provisions of their own car insurance policies would help the injured girl’s parents deal with the financial impacts of the crash.