Did another driver injure you in an accident and then flee the scene? What are you supposed to do now? Who will pay for the damages? A hit-and-run lawyer in Arizona can help you.
Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer can help. We know how frustrating it can be to experience a hit-and-run accident and not know who is responsible for your financial, physical, and emotional pain. Attorney Alex Silkman can explore every possible legal option for you to recover compensation, even if law enforcement never identifies the hit-and-run driver.
What Are the Consequences for Fleeing the Scene of an Accident?
Under Arizona law, any driver involved in an accident must stop, provide their identification information, and give reasonable assistance if necessary. A driver who flees the accident scene could face both criminal and civil consequences. Depending on the severity of the accident, a hit-and-run driver’s criminal penalties could include jail time and large fines.
Beyond these criminal consequences, a hit-and-run driver may also face civil liability for the victim’s losses. They may owe the victim significant compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. If the case goes to trial, the court could also award the victim punitive damages – which are meant to punish the at-fault driver for their irresponsible and negligent actions.
Is the Hit-and-Run Driver Automatically Liable?
While a hit-and-run driver may have committed a crime by fleeing the accident scene, they are not automatically liable for the accident itself. Liability depends on negligence. If the hit-and-run driver’s negligence caused the accident, they could be responsible for the injured party’s losses. Negligence could include many irresponsible and dangerous actions, such as:
Proving negligence requires evidence. Evidence of negligence could include photos and videos of the accident scene, expert witness reports, and eyewitness testimony. Your hit-and-run accident attorney can help you locate and secure the needed proof.
Can I Recover Compensation Through Insurance After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
In many cases, you may recover compensation after a hit-and-run accident by filing an insurance claim. Here are a few options that may be available:
- Uninsured motorist coverage – Arizona does not require drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage as part of their vehicle liability insurance. But many drivers choose to include this coverage, which pays for bodily injury and property damage after an accident with an uninsured motorist. It will also cover accidents involving a hit-and-run driver who law enforcement cannot locate.
- MedPay insurance – While not required, some drivers may maintain medical payments (MedPay) insurance as part of their policy. MedPay covers hospital bills resulting from an accident regardless of who is at fault.
- Health insurance – If you have health insurance, some of your medical expenses may be covered by your policy.
- Third-party claim – If another party shared responsibility for the accident, you could seek compensation from the at-fault party by filing a claim with their insurance company.
- Locating the hit-and-run driver – If the at-fault driver is later identified, you can file a claim with their insurance company – assuming they are insured. If they don’t have insurance, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against them.