A large number of hit-and-run accidents occur each year in and around New Orleans, and some of those involve drivers who hit bicyclists before fleeing. Without the protective frame of a vehicle around them, cyclists are much likelier to be severely injured when they are struck. Many of the hit-and-run drivers are never caught by the police.
According to a report in the Times-Picayune, the New Orleans Police Department is inundated with calls, resulting in response times to hit-and-run accidents increasing. In 2012, the average response time to a 911 call was 22 minutes, while in 2015, it has averaged out around 43 minutes, almost double.
Each year, the NOPD receives around 8,700 calls for hit-and-run-accidents. Of those, about 680 involve accidents with injuries. A hit-and-run driver who flees an accident in which a person was injured faces up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. With the long response times, however, many cases go unsolved because witnesses leave before the police get there and the driver has had more time to get further away from the scene.
When a negligent party fled the scene of an accident that injured a cyclist, the cyclist may suffer from disabling, lifelong conditions as a result. Injured victims of hit-and-run drivers may want to consult with a personal injury attorney. An attorney may be able to track down video from street cameras or businesses in the area to help identify the driver and then file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. Legal counsel may also be able to negotiate with the insurance company to help the client receive a fair compensation that accounts for all of the damages that have been sustained.