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Can You Receive Compensation for a Hit & Run?

By Karnas Law Firm |

Arizona law clearly requires that people involved in a hit and run accident stop their vehicles and share insurance information with other motorists. Sadly, far too many motorists drive away without a concern for those who are injured.

At Karnas Law Firm, PLLC, we field phone calls from panicked accident victims who have mammoth medical expenses and no way to pay them. Even worse, the driver who struck them fled the scene and victims have no ability to file a claim on that driver’s insurance. Fortunately, we can help. There are several ways to get the compensation you need to cover medical care, fix your car, and pay other expenses. Please contact us today to learn more.

Arizona Requires that Motorists Stop

Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-663 states that motorists have a legal duty to stop if involved in a crash that causes personal injury, death, or even vehicle damage. Further, motorists must share their name and address, along with registration number. They should also provide assistance to anyone injured in the crash, such as calling for an ambulance to come take a victim to the hospital.

Any failure to fulfill these requirements is a Class 6 felony under Arizona law. Nonetheless, many Tucson drivers hit the gas following a wreck, probably because they were drinking or they lack insurance and don’t want to pay. If the driver is never found, they can’t face felony charges. They also won’t be forced to pay compensation to victims.

Accident Victims Have Options for Compensation

In the typical Tucson car accident, we sue the at-fault driver on behalf of our clients. Arizona requires that motorists carry liability insurance for this purpose. We can request compensation for medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering. We can also request that the at-fault driver cover the cost of car repairs.

What happens when the motorist who hit you fled? Fortunately, you do have some options to get at least some of the money owed to you. We can talk about these in a consultation but provide an overview here.

Collision Insurance

This insurance covers the costs of car repairs up to the policy limit, provided your car was damaged in a collision. You can use this insurance in a hit and run.

However, collision is optional coverage in Arizona, which means some motorists won’t have it. If you have a car loan, then your lender probably requires collision coverage to protect the value of your car. Look at your insurance paperwork to see if you purchased this coverage.

Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay)

You might have bought Med Pay coverage, which you can tap after a hit and run crash. This insurance will pay for medical care after a car accident, and you can use it for a hit and run. Like collision insurance, however, Med Pay coverage is optional in Arizona, and you might not have picked up a policy.

Most people who buy Med Pay get less than $5,000—though larger policies are available. This is great coverage because you can immediately use it to cover emergency care.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UM)

Our clients usually make a claim on their uninsured motorist insurance, called UM. This is required insurance that should come with every car insurance policy in Arizona. It is an excellent benefit, because you can use it whenever hit by a driver who lacks insurance. You can also use it for a hit and run.

UM coverage will pay for medical care and property damage, up to the policy limit. Most drivers will have at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person. That can seriously defray the costs of medical treatment.

You Can Sue the Driver if Found

Don’t overlook the possibility that the police might find the driver who injured you. The police might be especially motivated if you suffered serious injuries in the crash. Be sure to call the police out to the accident scene, even if the driver fled. You can share with the police key details about the driver and the car, such as the make and model. The police should put out a bulletin searching for the driver and possibly search for surveillance video on nearby Tucson businesses.

If the driver is found, we will happily make a claim on their insurance. We might also sue the driver personally for compensation. You deserve compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, and other damages—especially when a driver cruelly fled the scene.

Call Us for More Information

Karnas Law Firm is a leader in the Tucson community, helping accident victims recover from their injuries. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights following a hit and run collision.