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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Running Away From An Accident Just Makes Things Worse

The word “accident” is often used when someone has been injured by a slip and fall, a drunk or distracted driver or a prescription error, but the word is not very well chosen. There are very few genuine “accidents” as there are usually very obvious reasons why the injuries happened.

It is vital for anyone who has been seriously injured in any way for the cause of the injuries to be determined, especially if they have been caused by someone’s careless actions or negligence. It is the job of the personal injury attorney to find out who or what was to blame when someone has been unnecessarily injured and faces financial chaos as a result.

Some of the worst scenarios are traffic accidents when a drunk, tired, or distracted driver misjudges their driving skills and causes an accident in which a totally innocent person or persons are injured or killed, then runs away.

In a few situations, the guilty party is never found or cannot be identified and the victim or victims are left to bear the consequences of the accident.

Running away doesn’t always help, but that’s what some drivers attempt even when it actually makes things worse, not just for the victim of the accident, but for the perpetrator as well.

43-year-old tractor-trailer driver, Ivrii Artemenko tried just that last week when he crashed his vehicle on the I-90 in the German Flatts area. As so often when the worst accidents happen, it was after dark at 7 p.m. when the accident happened. Artemenko lost control of his vehicle and it ground along the highway’s nearside guardrail for a full 75 feet before going over the side and ending up in a ditch.

Miraculously, in this situation, the accident did not affect any other vehicle and no one was injured, even Artemenko himself. However, he wasn’t going to take any chances, it seems, as he ran away from the vehicle as soon as he could extricate himself from the cab.

What the driver was thinking at the time is hard to imagine, as it didn’t take long for the police to find him as his tracks were clearly left behind in the snow. He has been charged with DUI after an alcohol test found his blood alcohol level to be 0.10 – 0.02% above the state legal limit of 0.08.

In the case of an injury to another person having resulted from Artemenko’s actions, then the tractor-trailer driver would have faced not only a charge of leaving the scene of an accident, a felony charge, but would in most probability also face a civil personal injury action against him for being the cause of a serious injury or injuries. Just because a negligent driver is being prosecuted for their actions doesn’t mean they are absolved from a claim for compensation from the victims of the accident they have caused.

Even if you, or a family member, have been injured by a negligent driver who has managed to evade capture by the police and it has not been resolved who caused your injuries, not all is necessarily lost. It is still important to contact an experienced Long Island accident attorney like Richard S. Jaffe Esq. of the New York-based Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. It may be possible to file a lawsuit against the driver if he or she is eventually found or you may have insurance for this sort of situation which you didn’t realize you had.

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