What To Do After a Hit and Run Accident in Phoenix.
Hit and run accident law in Phoenix
Hit and run cases are legally tricky, because everything hinges on whether the at-fault driver can be apprehended. If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
In 2015, the Arizona Department of Transportation logged 13,018 hit and run crashes. Of those, 2,530 resulted in injuries to the struck person.
Here’s what you need to know to increase the chances that the driver will be caught and to build a strong case.
Hit and run accident law in Phoenix.
According to Arizona law, drivers involved in an accident resulting in damage, injury or death must:
1. Give their name, address and vehicle registration number.
2. Show, on request, their driver’s license to the person struck or to the driver of the other vehicle.
3. Assist any people injured in the accident, including calling 911 to arrange for them to get treatment for injuries.
Any person who does not do the first two actions is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor. Any person who does not do the third action is guilty of a class 6 felony.
What to do after a hit and run accident
It’s important to be especially vigilant after a hit and run accident, because any details you can provide to the police may help catch the runaway driver and strengthen your claim.
If possible, try to get any information you can about the vehicle that struck you – license plate, description of the car and driver. Write it down immediately. Also write down the date and time of the accident, the specific location, the road and traffic conditions, and the weather. You may be in shock and not thinking clearly, so your memory of the incident later may be especially unreliable. Plus, your information will be seen as more credible if your write it down straight away and can show that to a police officer.
Call the police immediately. Report the facts as completely and honestly as you can.
Seek witnesses who may be able to describe the accident and the vehicle. Get the names and contact information of each witness so your lawyer can contact them later if necessary.
Photograph the scene, your damaged vehicle, and your injuries. Of course, photograph the fleeing vehicle if possible.
Seek medical care, even if you feel you don’t need it. The shock of an accident, which is compounded by the uncertainty of a hit and run, can delay the onset of symptoms such as pain. If you do not seek medical care right away and wish to claim compensation for injuries that manifest later, you may not be able to claim those injuries. A doctor, however, will be able to immediately detect injuries such as whiplash.
How do I make a claim in a hit and run accident?
The police or your attorney may be able to track down the hit and run driver based on the evidence you give them. Occasionally, video surveillance of the area may help apprehend the driver. If the police or your lawyers are successful, you can file a claim against the driver’s auto insurance company for damages such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. For more information about what compensation you may be entitled to, Call 602.274.7000
When another driver hits you and then flees the scene of the accident, the very first thing you should do is call the police and report the accident. While police may be able to ID and locate the driver who caused the hit-and-run, if they cannot, you may still have options for financial recovery and justice.
And contacting an experienced hit-and-run accident lawyer can be the key to figuring out and successfully pursuing these options.
FINANCIAL RECOVERY FOLLOWING HIT-AND-RUNS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By contacting a lawyer following a hit-and-run, you may benefit from the additional resources a lawyer can put towards investigating your accident, possibly helping you find the irresponsible/negligent driver who hit you.
Additionally, an attorney can help you file a claim with your own insurance company after hit-and-runs as long as you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This coverage essentially provides motorists with a financial safety net in the event a motorist without any or without sufficient insurance hit them, and it can come into play following hit-and-runs.
In fact, with this coverage, hit-and-run victims can be compensated for their collision-related property damage and losses. And, Arizona law prohibits insurers from raising policyholders’ rates for filing claims associated with accidents they didn’t cause; in other words, it’s illegal for an insurance provider to bump up your rates for making claims against your UM/UIM policy for hit-and-run damages.
HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENTS: MORE IMPORTANT INFO FOR MOTORISTS
- Claim deadlines – Just because you have UM/UIM coverage does not mean that you have all of the time in the world to file a claim and seek compensation. In fact, your policy may come with some specific deadlines, and understanding these can be critical to not compromising a future claim/your recovery options.
- Dealing with insurance companies – One notable challenge to pursuing compensation following hit-and-runs can be dealing with insurance providers themselves, as these companies can become adversarial regarding payouts for claims. So, do not trust insurers to honor your policy or look out for your interests.
Have you or a loved one been hurt in a hit-and-run or in any type of crash? If so, a Phoenix car accident attorney at Blake Law Firm is here for you, ready to fight for your rights to compensation and justice.
For more than 25 years, our attorneys have been representing clients and aggressively defending their rights both inside and outside of the courtroom against defense attorneys, corporate lawyers and insurance company agents alike.