In Arizona, there are over 125,000 automobile accidents per year. Roughly 84% of these motor vehicle accidents involve multiple vehicles. As one could imagine, multi-vehicle accidents with multiple parties and multiple insurance companies can complicate and delay personal injury settlements. Among these complications are injuries that result from “hit-and-run” accidents. As Arizona personal injury attorneys, we, at Torgenson Law, have encountered the various complications that arise as a result of multi-vehicle accidents, including hit-and-runs. Below, we will aim to inform Arizona residents about Arizona’s hit-and-run law. Also, we impart a general understanding of personal injury compensation options in the event that you are injured in a hit-and-run accident.
Arizona’s Hit and Run Law
A driver involved in a motor vehicle accident has a legal duty to stop and provide information and assistance to the police or any other person involved. (A.R.S. § 28-663). Specifically, Arizona law requires a driver involved in an accident to provide his or her name and address, as well as the vehicle registration number to the other driver and/or passengers of the vehicle that was also involved in the collision. Failing to comply with this law subjects the individual to criminal citations, fines, and serious jail time depending on the circumstances.
The primary purpose of this law is to hold liable drivers accountable and to ensure that those injured will receive necessary medical attention to prevent further damages. Unfortunately, many drivers flee the scene of the accident out of fear of the consequences. Perhaps, the driver was intoxicated or knew he was breaking the law when he caused the accident. On the other hand, he may have simply feared his financial liability for causing such a crash. Regardless of the reason, all too often, personal injury victims are left battered, bruised, and financially exposed by the individuals who refuse to take responsibility for their negligent or reckless driving.
PLEASE! If you are involved in a car accident, do not leave the scene of the accident. Doing so could not only subject you to criminal consequences, but also cause further injury to an innocent individual.
In hit-and-run accidents, your recovery options will obviously be limited, as you do not know who hit you or whether they carried insurance. In a perfect world, the runner will be caught, and the necessary third-party insurance information will become available. In such a case, a personal injury victim could recover policy limits from the fleeing driver’s liability insurance policy. Additionally, the injured victim may be able to recover punitive damages if the criminal driver acted intentionally and recklessly in causing the harm. Therefore, it is crucial that you note and report any identifying characteristics of the liable driver or his car. This information could be instrumental in your personal injury case.
Unfortunately, justice does not always prevail, and the hit-and-run culprit may forever remain unidentified.However, not all hope is lost, as personal injury victims may seek compensation from their own insurance providers if they carry the appropriate underinsured (UIM) and uninsured (UM) motorist coverage. This only further emphasizes the importance carrying a UIM or UM policy, as it may be your last means of compensation in a hit-and-run accident. Of course, this amount may be insufficient to cover your personal injury expenses. Accordingly, it may be necessary to hire an experienced personal injury attorney that will go the extra mile to track down the at-fault motorist.
As Arizona personal injury lawyers at Torgenson Law, we understand that personal injury claims do not always go according to plan. Nonetheless, we have the skills and experience to improvise and ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your personal injury claim. If you suffer a personal injury as a result of a hit-and-run accident, call us at (602) 759-0012. We will not run from a fight.