The consequences of a car crash can be dire for the people involved. If someone hits their head or suffers a hard-to-treat injury, they may need emergency medical care or be at risk of dying. The need to summon prompt medical attention is one of the reasons that Arizona state law requires drivers to stop after car crashes that result in injury, death or at least $1,000 in property damage.
You have an obligation to the other people involved and to the state to comply with the law and report a crash as soon as it occurs. The sad truth is that some people will take extreme steps to avoid personal responsibility for their behavior. Some people will drive off after a crash without even checking to see if the other person was okay.
What happens after a hit-and-run crash?
The police will try to find the other driver
It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident, so law enforcement officers will likely look for evidence. Traffic cameras, security cameras and witness statements could all help them identify the person involved.
When there are no cameras or witnesses to help with the identification process, police officers may reach out to body shops to check for vehicles seeking service that match the description of the other vehicle that you provide them. If the police catch the person who caused the crash, they will likely face a criminal charge for leaving the scene of the accident. You will then have the option of filing an insurance claim against their policy or even taking them to civil court.
What if the police don’t find the other driver?
Sometimes, police officers failed to solve hit-and-run collisions. They never locate the driver to blame for the wreck, leaving the person hurt in the crash without someone to hold responsible. In a hit-and-run situation, the person who did not leave the scene of the accident may be able to make a claim against their insurance policy. However, they will usually need special coverage, like uninsured motorist protection or collision coverage to cover those expenses.
Learning state law about crash liability and ensuring that you have enough insurance coverage can reduce the risk of major losses if you do get involved in a hit-and-run crash.