Getting into a car accident has the potential to be one of the worst experiences of your life. All of the confusion can only be made worse if you have no idea who hit you.
What is a Hit-and-Run Car Accident?
A hit-and-run car accident is defined by a person involved in a car accident leaving the scene without stopping to identify themselves or checking if anyone at the scene was injured. It doesn’t matter whether you were at fault for the accident or not; if you were involved in the accident at all and leave the scene without identifying yourself, it is considered a hit-and-run. However, if you need to leave the scene to call emergency services, like the police or an ambulance, it isn’t a hit-and-run as long as you return to the scene promptly to identify yourself. It is not considered a hit-and-run if you are unconscious and brought to a hospital by an ambulance; EMS will take care of identifying you.
What Do Police Do In A Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you have been a victim of a hit-and-run accident, the police will try to help determine the person who committed the hit-and-run. They’ll do this using a few different techniques.
After all these steps, it is likely that the police will have found the person who committed the hit-and-run. Once this happens, you can file a claim to hold them accountable for your injuries and damages.
What Should YOU Do In A Hit-and-Run Accident?
After a hit-and-run you will have a lot to deal with as the victim. However, there are a few things that you can do to help the investigation along, and potentially help find the perpetrator.
Does Car Insurance Cover a Hit-And-Run?
Most car insurance will cover a hit-and-run accident through uninsured motorists coverage (which you are required to have a minimum of $15,000 in AZ). If your car is leased or financed, you will likely have this coverage by default.
DUI’s and Hit-and-Runs
Many drivers who commit hit-and-runs are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They figure that the penalty for a DUI is too high, and they attempt to run before anyone can identify them. If they are caught in a hit-and-run, they try the most logical defense- that they weren’t the person driving the car at the time of the accident (called the “it wasn’t me” defense). When this is raised, the most reliable evidence is from your report, as well as for any witnesses who come forward. The other common defense is that they weren’t drunk or reckless at the time of the accident, sometimes in connection with stating that they were not aware they had hit anything or anyone. These two defenses may not exonerate a drunk driver completely, but can help them avoid a DUI charge (even if they still get charged with a hit-and-run).
The most common defense, that may be used in conjunction with the other common DUI defenses, or as a stand-alone defense, is that the police made mistakes when gathering evidence or arresting the perpetrator. This tactic leads to crucial pieces of evidence being inadmissible, or thrown out, because of technical violations on the police’s end. To learn more about DUI’s, check out our page on Victims of DUI.
Resources Near Me
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you must file a report with the police. If the police did not show up at the scene of the accident, here are some local resources.
Get Help Now
At the Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries from car accidents, including hit-and-run accidents. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office.
If you have been in a car accident that is not your fault, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Maricopa, Globe, and Queen Creek.
Get in touch with us today for your free consultation.Schedule Now
Call (480) 634-7480 & Speak To One Of Our AttorneysSubmit your information and we will reach out soon