When a driver hits another car, cyclist, or pedestrian, they should stop immediately. If possible, they should render reasonable assistance to injured parties, including stopping bleeding, giving CPR, or calling an ambulance. Even if no injuries occurred, drivers should exchange names, contact information, and insurance details with the other involved parties. When a driver fails to stop at the scene of an accident, it is known as a hit and run.
Hit and runs are a criminal offense. In addition to facing criminal charges, drivers are liable to compensate their victims financially. Unfortunately, it can be challenging for victims to pursue the compensation they are due in these circumstances. If you have been hurt in a Tucson hit and run accident, a lawyer may be able to support you. An attorney can help you attempt to identify the responsible party. They will also help you pursue monetary awards from the liable person’s insurance company or in a civil court. In addition to seeking compensation to help you pay for medical bills and make up for lost wages, a lawyer will provide you with peace of mind and allow you to focus on your recovery. The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC is prepared to help you in your time of need. Call the office at (800) 598-7557 to speak with a team member to schedule a free consultation with a legal representative.
Prevalence of Hit and Run Accidents & Victim Demographics
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Arizona ranks fifth in the nation for the highest number of hit and runs. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) reports that almost 15,000 drivers fled the crash scene in the state in 2016. Fortunately, no one was hurt in most of these incidents. Many hit and run accidents involve property damage solely. However, nearly 3,000 of the 15,000 hit and runs in 2016 did cause bodily harm. Tragically, 52 people died in such collisions. Based on this data, about 1 in 10 car crash victims in the Grand Canyon State are victims of hit and runs.
While drivers and passengers in other vehicles can be victims of hit and run accidents, pedestrians and cyclists make up most victims. Some experts think pedestrians and cyclists are more likely to be victims of hit and runs because when a driver collides with another car, they, too, are likely to suffer severe injury or vehicle damage, which may inhibit them from fleeing the scene. On the other hand, when a driver hits a cyclist or pedestrian, they may suffer minimal damage or bodily harm.
Sadly, pedestrians and cyclists are even more at risk of severe, potentially life-threatening injuries compared to drivers and passengers without the protection of a vehicle.
If you were injured in a hit and run collision in Tucson, consider getting in touch with the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC for legal assistance pursuing your rightful compensation. Call (800) 598-7557 to discuss your case with a staff member.
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Traffic Laws & Consequences for Hit and Runs in Arizona
Whether a driver damages property or causes bodily harm, they should take responsibility for their actions. It is not only the ethical and moral thing to do, but it is also a legal obligation.
In Arizona, like most states, drivers are obliged to obey the rules of the road. This includes observing the speed limit and traffic signals, yielding, and giving the right of way as appropriate. It also includes abstaining from driving while intoxicated or distracted driving. Many hit and run accidents and car crashes generally result from drivers not giving the right of way to pedestrians, speeding, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving while texting, interacting with passengers, or other distracting behaviors is another major contributor to crashes in Arizona and the nation.
Arizona enforces penalties for infractions, ranging from fines to jail time depending on the severity of the crime and other factors, such as the perpetrator’s criminal history and the degree of harm they cause.
Most breaches of the law are misdemeanors. This includes hit and runs that involve property damage solely. For example, if a driver nicks or scratches another car in a parking lot and leaves the scene, this is a misdemeanor for which they may have to pay a fine to the state. However, if a driver injures another person and flees the scene, this is a felony. In this instance, the driver may have to pay a substantial fine to the state or serve jail time. The sentence is typically much more severe if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
The majority of hit and run drivers flee the scene because they are afraid to face the consequences of their actions. A significant percentage of offenders are intoxicated when the crash occurs. Many others are driving without a license or adequate insurance coverage. Some flee because they have a record of traffic or other criminal offenses or are on probation.
Because hit and run collisions are a crime, law enforcement will typically identify and locate the perpetrator to hold them accountable in a criminal court of law. However, even if the driver is not convicted of a crime, victims still have a right to pursue compensation and, if necessary, bring a personal injury suit in a civil court.
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How a Tucson Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Identifying the responsible party is crucial to seek the compensation you are due. A Tucson hit and run accident lawyer can help you by launching an independent investigation to attempt to locate the offending driver, even if police have been unable to do so.
If the driver is not located, you may still have options. It may be possible to pursue compensation from your insurance provider, particularly if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Remember, it is crucial to file an insurance claim within a couple of weeks after the incident, as most providers require you to file within a “reasonable” period. An attorney can help you do this. They can also help you negotiate for a fair payout from your insurance provider.
If the police or your lawyer can identify the responsible party, your attorney will help you negotiate with the perpetrator’s insurance company for a fair settlement. If their insurance coverage is insufficient, a Tucson hit and run accident lawyer can support you in filing a civil suit. They will gather evidence, prove liability, and design a strategy to present your case to the defendant’s legal team. If necessary, they will represent you in a civil court of law.
Get in Touch with the Team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC
A Tucson hit and run accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC is ready to support you in your time of need. When you feel up to it, consider contacting the office to get started on your case. Dial (800) 598-7557 to talk to a staff member to discuss your unique case.