Hit and run car accidents can be a stressful and frightening experience. All of the confusion can only be made worse if you have no idea who hit you. Hit and run car accidents aren’t only damaging to your property, they cause ongoing grief because without someone to obtain a settlement from, you are responsible for all damage and injury that you may have sustained- either out of pocket or through insurance.
The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you have significant experience in helping clients who have been in a hit and run car accident. Our offices are conveniently located in nearby Chandler, Peoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person at our nearby offices, over the phone, or video call. You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.
By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor who can help you. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people. Our familiarity with the local Phoenix courts makes us confident that we can help you get the best settlement possible.
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“After being hit this May by a hit and run drunk driver and injured I called… [Phoenix Accident and Injury]Law Firm. They were very professional and easy to work with. My case moved fast and I would definitely use them again if needed.” – Jay H. (Read this Review on Yelp)
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 car accident.
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 car accident 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.
- Photos: If you have been the victim of a hit and run, it is important to call the police to the scene of the crime as soon as possible. They will document the scene, including damage to your car.
- Record: The police will want you to give a full and detailed record of what happened, including any details you may remember about the car that hit you, or the driver of the car. It is important to give a full account of what happened, as detailed as possible.
- Witnesses: The police will also want to hear statements of what happened from witnesses of the accident. If you happen to be the witness of a hit-and-run accident, try to record the other driver’s license plate number or remember an accurate description of the car including the make, color, and model. Even if you can’t remember (or don’t know) the make or model, the color and type of car (truck, SUV, sedan, hatchback, etc.) can be helpful.
- Cameras: After getting all the information possible from the scene of the accident, the police will often look for different cameras that may have captured the accident. These surveillance cameras could be traffic cameras or cameras outside of local businesses. They will use the tapes to figure out details about the accident.
- Social Media: If surveillance footage is unavailable, the police may post on social media to alert the public about the description of the car.
After all these steps, it is likely that the police will have found the person who committed the hit and run car accident. 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 car accident 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.
- Notes: In any type of car accident, it is important to try to remember details about the car that hit you, in case the accident turns into a hit and run car accident. This includes license plate number, color make and model of the car that hit you, as well as any details you can remember about the driver. Taking detailed notes will help you recall minor details that may slip your mind as time passes. This will help you not only have a firm recollection of what happened when talking to the police, it will help you when you and your lawyers go over your claim.
- Pictures: Even though the police will likely take their own photos of the scene, you may want to take pictures yourself. Important things to capture are damage to the car, any injuries you may have, and damage to any other personal property that may have been in the accident. It is important that your pictures have timestamps on them to eliminate claims of falsifying evidence.
- Report: As stated above, it’s important to tell the police all the details you remember.
Does Car Insurance Cover a Hit And Run?
Most car insurance will cover a hit and run car 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 car accident, 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.
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Resources Near Me
If you have been involved in a hit and run car 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.
Hit and Run Project
Get Help Now
At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries, including those from hit and run car accidents in the Phoenix area. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.
If you have been in a hit and run car accident, contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in nearby Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.