Wichita woman dies in hit-and-run

Attorney explains how the legal system works for families in Kansas

A Wichita woman recently died due to injuries sustained in a pedestrian hit-and-run accident. The tragedy prompted city officials to make changes to the area where the fatal pedestrian accident took place, according to KWCH 12 News.

Many cities and states have made similar efforts to reduce the number of hit-and-run and pedestrian accidents. Both types of accidents are on the rise and remain a serious problem nationwide. That’s according to a pedestrian accident attorney in Wichita who deals with these types of cases throughout Kansas.

The recent fatal hit-and-run pedestrian accident happened on a Saturday night in early June near Douglas and Greenwood Streets in Wichita. The pedestrian died six days later in a Wichita hospital as a result of her injuries.

The driver who allegedly caused the fatal pedestrian accident and left the crash scene was later located by police. He was arrested and charged with hit and run and aggravated battery. The accident remains under investigation and the official charges against the driver may be amended, police told KWCH 12 News.

How common are pedestrian accidents?

Despite continued efforts to educate drivers and the public at large about the dangers vehicles pose to pedestrians, the number of pedestrian accidents and fatalities has continued to rise in recent years.

Safety officials were alarmed in 2019 when pedestrian fatalities hit a 30-year high that year. A total of 6,590 pedestrians died that year in accidents, an increase of 5 percent compared to 2018 and the most pedestrian deaths in a single year since 1988, according to statistics compiled by The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) as reported by Car & Driver.

The next year, that figure climbed even higher. According to initial estimates provided by the GHSA, an estimated 6,721 pedestrians were killed in 2020, an increase of 131 deaths or 1.9 percent compared to 2019, even though there were fewer drivers on the road last year due to the worldwide pandemic.

How common are hit-and-run accidents?

Hit-and-run accidents might seem rare, but they have become even more common in recent years. Hit-and-run accidents account for 5 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to statistics compiled by the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety. In addition, fatalities associated with hit-and-run accidents have been increasing by roughly 7 percent each year on average in recent years.

As a result, there are an estimated 737,000 hit-and-run accidents each year nationwide. That’s roughly one such accident every 43 seconds. While police do sometimes catch the drivers as they did in the recent case in Kansas, some drivers are never caught. This leaves injury victims and their families to deal with many complicated legal issues that often arise in such cases.

How can a lawyer help?

Pedestrian accidents – especially ones involving hit-and-run drivers – can be complicated legal cases in which many different legal issues arise. The driver who caused the accident might not be located or claim they didn’t do anything wrong. Insurance companies for the at-fault driver can be just hard to deal with after a pedestrian accident. That’s because injury claims often add up to thousands of dollars or significantly more. As a result, insurance companies often do everything they can to avoid paying claims.

The experienced attorneys at Bretz Injury Law in Kansas can help you every step of the way. We know exactly what evidence to look for after an accident. Whether it’s carefully reviewing traffic camera footage, tracking down witnesses, or consulting with accident reconstruction experts, we leave no stone unturned in pursuit of the truth. Discover what we can do for you. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation today. Our law firm has several offices conveniently located throughout Kansas, including offices in Wichita and Hutchinson.