One of the biggest nightmares for any driver is becoming the victim of a hit and run. Becoming a victim of a traffic crash is traumatic enough. It’s even worse when the driver that hits you decides to flee, rather than stay on the scene to exchange information and call the police. If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run, you probably feel angry, afraid, uncertain or a combination of these things. You might have suffered significant financial loss.
Fortunately, there are laws in Arizona that protect you. Whether you are in Phoenix or anywhere else in Arizona, there are important ways that victims of hit and run traffic crashes can find justice. Click here to learn what a personal injury attorney can do for you. Keep reading to learn what laws protect victims of a hit and run accident in the Grand Canyon State.
It’s illegal to run from the scene of a traffic crash in Arizona. Victims can rest assured that the person who flees can face criminal penalties in addition to civil liability. Whether a person hits another vehicle or hits a person or property, the person must stop his or her vehicle. They must either call the police or take steps to notify the owner of the damaged property.
Fleeing from a crash might be a misdemeanor or a felony. How the courts classify the crime depends on the severity of what happened. If law enforcement thinks that alcohol, drugs or another substance might have played a part in the crash, they can order the person that fled to complete an assessment to monitor their substance abuse. If the person has a problem with drugs or alcohol, the State of Arizona can suspend or revoke their driver’s license.
If you’re the victim of a hit and run in Arizona, the person who victimized you has to pay you for your damages. You can even recover if you are partly at fault for the crash. This is called comparative negligence. The jury has to decide how much of the crash is your fault. It’s important to discuss this law with a knowledgeable attorney to see what your recovery might be if you are the victim of a hit and run.
Arizona also has important laws that protect hit and run victims that fall under the state’s crime victim laws. The most important things that these laws do is give the victim a chance to be heard in court. If the other driver is convicted of the hit and run in the criminal court, the victim gets a chance to address the judge before the defendant receives a sentence.
In criminal court, the prosecutor may ask the court to order the guilty person to pay money to the victim for his or her financial losses. This is called restitution. The prosecutor’s office should work with you to explain the process and keep you informed as the case proceeds through criminal court.
These are Arizona laws that protect victims of a hit and run after a traffic crash. If you’re in a crash, it’s important to know that you have to stop your vehicle and call the police or exchange information, depending on what has happened. If you’re the unfortunate victim of a hit and run, you have all of these laws to protect you and to help you get the compensation you deserve through criminal and civil courts of law.