This article shares some great advice from Phoenix car accident attorney, Aaron Crane from Cantor Crane regarding hit and run accidents. Hit and run accidents can lead to serious injuries or even life-threatening consequences. In many cases, it is difficult to identify the at-fault driver and receive compensation as you would in any other accident. Nonetheless, you are still required to seek medical attention and initiate the claims process before you can begin to seek the compensation you deserve.
Hit and Run Accidents
A hit-and-run accident involves a driver who intentionally leaves the scene of the accident without providing any contact information or assistance to the injured people. These accidents may occur even if the driver was not at fault. For example, a driver who was struck by an oncoming vehicle when he had the right of way may still perpetrate a hit-and-run accident if he leaves the scene without seeing if the other driver needs assistance. In most cases, the driver is at fault for the accident, often in a parked vehicle case.
Involvement in a Hit-and-run Accident in Phoenix
Being involved in a hit-and-run accident is often frustrating due to the fact that the responsible party is nowhere to be found. Nonetheless, there are certain steps you can take to recover your losses. The first step you should take is to file a police report, as leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal matter. In many states, it is your legal obligation to notify police of any accident that involves property damage or injury. A police report can be used as evidence when you file your claim.
If you are injured, you should never refuse medical treatment. Although many injuries do not present themselves immediately after an accident, seeking treatment establishes a history of medical intervention. There should be a clear link between your injuries and the accident, and immediately seeking treatment helps to establish this link. If you are able, it is important to obtain as much information about the accident as possible. Write down a description of the involved vehicle as well as any portion of the license plate number you remember. You should also mention any distinguishing characteristics you noticed about the driver, such as damage, scratches, a missing headlight or bumper stickers.
If you saw the driver who left the scene, write a thorough description of him or her as soon as you can. Your description will be more accurate if the memory is fresh in your mind. It is also important to get the contact information for any witnesses who may have seen the accident, car or driver. You should not whether there were any nearby cameras that may have taken photos of the accident or recorded the event.
If you are able, take pictures of the scene of the accident. Include pictures of the damage to your vehicle as well as any debris that was left by the other vehicle. Take other pictures to capture details of the accident scene and use different angles so others can get a clear idea of the layout. These photos should also record the time and location of the accident.
Filing a claim in a hit-and-run accident generally requires the use of your automotive insurance policy. Your policy should have coverage for underinsured or uninsured motorist claims, which can be used in hit-and-run cases as well. Most states require that you have some form of coverage in case the at-fault driver does not have coverage or cannot be found. Some states require personal injury protection coverage as well, which may help you cover your medical expenses related to the accident. If the hit-and-run driver in your case is found, your claim may be processed under his or her insurance policy.
Potential Legal Issues
Hit-and-run accidents can lead to a variety of legal complications that make it more difficult for you to focus on recovery. Seeking the assistance of a personal injury attorney may help you get the compensation you need while taking some of the responsibility off your shoulders. A personal injury lawyer can help you deal with insurance companies and opposing counsel if the other driver is identified. If not, a lawyer may also help you when it comes to seeking information about the other driver so he or she can be held responsible. Contact Cantor Crane today at (602) 254-2701.