Car accidents of any kind are traumatic for all involved- from the bystanders witnessing to the drivers and passengers, everyone is immediately impacted by the sudden incident of a car crash. But, what happens if the driver who caused the accident suddenly drives off?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes is on the rise despite the overall number of traffic-related deaths decreasing across the US. Traffic safety officials have reported an increase in drunk drivers fleeing the scene of an accident. Many of these accidents tragically involve pedestrians causing serious injuries to victims of the reckless behavior of drunk drivers.
As experienced attorneys for DUI hit-and-run cases, we’ve worked on many cases where the DUI driver has tried to bring a defense in an attempt to excuse their behavior or try to lessen their charges. Some of the more common defenses we’ve seen as attorneys include the ‘it wasn’t me’ defense, claiming they weren’t driving under the influence at the time and even the more ‘offensive’ defense the evidence was incorrectly collected by police.
DUI drivers who are faced with DUI hit and run charges try the most logical defense; that they weren’t the person driving the car at the time of the accident- the “it wasn’t me” defense. When this defense is raised, it’s important for witnesses of the accident to come forward with credible evidence of the accident. Another common defense from DUI drivers is that they weren’t drunk or reckless at the time of the accident, sometimes in connection with stating that they were not aware that they hit anything/anyone. These two defenses may not exonerate a drunk driver completely but can help them avoid more serious charges for their actions.
The final, and arguably most common defense, is that the police made mistakes when gathering evidence or when making an arrest. This third tactic often leads to crucial pieces of evidence being inadmissible, or thrown out, because of more technical violations on the part of the police.
In order to ensure that a drunk driver involved in a hit and run accident is held accountable, it’s important that the victim protects his or her interests. If you or a loved one is the victim of a hit and run, it’s vital to document all injuries, and if you need medical help go to the emergency room as soon as possible. Likewise, if you witness a hit-and-run and someone is hurt, make sure they get treatment as soon as possible.
If you’re a bystander, try to record the license plate of the car at fault if they’re fleeing the scene. Even if the license plate information is unavailable, try to record the description of the car including the make, model, color, and approximate year. Any details that may help police to identify the offending vehicle can make a significant difference.
As experienced accident attorneys, our team has worked representing many different hit and run cases before. One of our previous cases saw our client awarded $125,000.00 for an accident with an intoxicated driver who had a minor in the car. Our client was a pedestrian at the time and suffered a crushed foot as the driver fled the scene. As the case developed it was discovered the driver had already lost their license due to multiple DUI’s and had borrowed his roommates’ car at the time.
If you or someone you know gets injuries from a reckless driver, especially one who then flees the scene of an accident, reach out to us at Thompson Law, for a trusted Phoenix personal injury attorney
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