The law in Arizona very clearly mandates that those involved in a motor vehicle collision stop at the crash scene to check on the other parties involved in the crash and report the matter to area law enforcement. Those who fail to do so have violated state statutes and could face misdemeanor charges.
However, people are often so eager to avoid personal responsibility for a collision that they think nothing of committing a misdemeanor after causing a wreck if the act of running away can possibly keep them from being held accountable. Someone left alone at the scene of a crash may, therefore, need to work to locate the driver at fault for the hit-and-run in order to hold them responsible for costs associated with their harm. Ultimately, an injury victim will likely need to take the following steps if they want justice after an Arizona hit-and-run crash.
Contact the police
Filing a police report is still necessary even if the other party is no longer present at the scene of the collision. Police officers can begin investigating the incident and may be able to track down the motorist who fled the scene after causing the crash. The police report will be important for an individual’s protection in the future. It can help them navigate either a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim after the wreck.
Look for witnesses and other evidence
There may be an assortment of evidence to help connect a motorist to the recent collision. For example, there may have been other drivers nearby who witnessed the crash and could make statements regarding what occurred and why. If there are no witnesses who saw the crash, there could potentially be camera footage. Traffic cameras and sometimes even security cameras at businesses or nearby residences could help someone identify the other driver.
Bring in outside help
Unfortunately, Arizona police departments often do not dedicate many resources toward the investigation of hit-and-run collisions unless they result in someone dying. Frequently, it will be a wise move to bring in private support, possibly in the form of a lawyer who can advocate for the person affected by the crash. Attorneys can help with the investigation process, seeking out evidence that an individual may not be able to obtain on their own. They can also help someone communicate with police departments, insurance providers and other parties that may play a role in solving the case or resolving someone’s losses after a hit-and-run.
Those who take the right steps after a hit-and-run crash will have a better chance of identifying the other driver, which will provide them with opportunities to obtain compensation through insurance or personal injury lawsuits. In these ways, being proactive about protecting oneself after a hit-and-run crash is important for those hoping to minimize the losses that such a collision may inspire.