The fear and confusion that follow a car accident are compounded when the at-fault driver flees the scene. While you are dealing with your injuries and seeking the medical attention you need, your hit and run accident lawyer in Tucson will help you take steps to identify and locate the hit and run driver to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
If you were hurt or suffered damage or loss to your vehicle or other property, you may be entitled to a monetary award. If a passenger or family member was hurt or lost their lives in a hit and run accident, you may be entitled to a monetary award. An injury attorney in Tucson will help you determine fault and receive the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with the hit and run accident lawyers at Zanes Law by calling (866) 499-8989 today.
Filing a Hit and Run Car Accident Claim in Tucson, AZ
Filing a hit and run car accident insurance claim or a lawsuit is a complex process. This process can be especially complicated when the hit and run driver flees the scene of the accident. On your own, it can be extremely difficult to identify and locate the driver who caused the accident. A hit and run accident lawyer in Tucson will help you understand the many steps involved in compiling a successful lawsuit. Those steps should include:
- Filing a police report immediately is especially important when the at-fault driver flees or attempts to flee the scene of the accident
- Get the full name and contact information of as many witnesses to the accident as possible
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident and pictures that depict the direction the driver used to leave the scene
- Ask the police to collect any debris that may have fallen or dislodged from the hit and run driver’s car
Along with pictures of your vehicle from as many angles as possible, these items can help your attorney begin the process of locating the hit and run driver and holding them accountable for the accident that caused your injuries. They can also help strengthen and support your insurance claim.
When the Hit and Run Driver Cannot Be Located
Sometimes, despite everyone’s best effort, the hit and run driver can never be located. In the unfortunate event that the hit and run driver simply cannot be found, you may be able to seek coverage under your own insurance policy. If your insurance policy covers uninsured motorists, it might still be possible to obtain the financial compensation you deserve for your physical injuries and property damage or loss.
Your lawyer will help you strengthen your claim and compile the proof you need for your insurance company if the other driver cannot be found. Each policy is different, and we will thoroughly examine yours. We will also work diligently with your insurance carrier to make sure you receive everything your policy entitles you to.
In either instance, we come to you right away to discuss the merits of your hit and run claim. Your consultation and sign-up can all be done in a single phone call. You can even sign up over the phone or a Zanes Law attorney will meet you at your home or hospital room.
For a free legal consultation with a hit and run accidents lawyer serving Tucson, call 866-499-8989
Time is of the Essence in a Hit and Run Accident
When the reckless behavior of another driver caused your car accident, you are entitled to file an insurance claim. When the accident you were involved in ends in a hit and run, it can be difficult to know where to turn next. When time is of the essence, it can turn an already frustrating ordeal into an overwhelming experience.
It is essential that you understand Arizona’s timelines and how they can affect your insurance claim. Arizona imposes a statute of limitations that generally allows up to two years to file an insurance claim or lawsuit under AZ Code 12-542. Understanding and navigating the statute of limitations without legal help could lead to costly errors. If you misunderstand the timeline that applies to your particular case and miss important filing deadlines, you may negatively impact your ability to file a claim at all.
If the driver who fled the scene cannot be located, you are entitled to coverage and protection from your own insurer. An attorney who understands Arizona filing restrictions can help you file a timely claim. Call Zanes Law at (866) 499-8989 to get started on your case today.
Arizona Hit and Run Accident Claims
Arizona imposes stiff penalties for leaving the scene of an accident and violating AZ Code 28-662 with up to twelve and a half years of jail time, as much as $750 in fines and applicable surcharges, and the loss of driving privileges for up to ten years. The state takes hit and run accidents seriously, and so do we. We fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve from the other driver’s insurer or your own.
Tucson Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Near Me 866-499-8989
Why Do People Hit and Run in Tucson, Arizona?
When a person hits a vehicle or pedestrian and flees the accident scene, people are left wondering what can cause them to drive away like that. Is it malice? Or perhaps fear?
According to the Washington Post, psychological studies of hit and run drivers show some trends behind the motivation to leave a victim at the scene of an accident. Most might assume people who engage in this behavior are just bad people with few values, but the studies show different motivations behind why people flee the scene of accidents.
The most predominant type of offender was males below 25 years of age. Further, the report said 42 percent of the 853 offenders in its study were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they chose to commit a hit and run and flee the accident scene.
In general, the fear of facing the consequences from police showing up at the scene is a primary factor in many hit and runs. The idea of being arrested for a DUI—on top of getting in trouble for causing an accident or injuring another—is too frightening, and these individuals decide to flee.
The study closely examined 53 people convicted of hit-and-run crashes, finding that:
- 21 drivers panicked in flight mode.
- Seven had concerns because they were drinking.
- Eight claimed to have no knowledge that the crash occurred.
- 13 believed the accident was too trivial to report.
- Some worried about increased insurance rates or did not have required insurance in Arizona.
- Others feared police at the scene would discover involvement in unrelated crimes, which can include anything from a warrant for their arrest to possession of drugs or an expired driver’s license.
Another incidental reason is that they lack liability insurance or have a substantial accident history and may lose their license if they stay at the scene.
Some other reasons why hit-and-run drivers leave include:
- The driver is operating a stolen vehicle or without permission.
- The driver is on the job and does not want the employer to learn about the crash.
- The driver has outstanding arrest warrants.
- The driver is an undocumented immigrant.
- The driver has stolen goods, unlawful weapons, or drugs in the vehicle.
In the Tucson region, these studies stand true. Drivers fear potential consequences, and in their panic amidst the accident, believe that they can make it away unscathed if they simply just drive. This leaves behind injured victims, who can feel helpless and even more traumatized after a serious crash.
A Criminal Hit and Run Case Will Not Compensate You for Your Losses
If law enforcement officers find and arrest a hit-and-run driver, you might assume that the criminal process will help your situation. However, a criminal hit-and-run case will generally not compensate you for your losses. This is because court-ordered criminal restitution is usually inadequate to cover all your damages, and the offender might never be able to fully pay the ordered amount – especially if they are heading to jail or have other costly fines to pay.
A criminal conviction can still be helpful, though, since it helps you to prove the negligence and fault of the driver in your civil case.
You must take action independently from the criminal matter, which might include:
- Claims against the at-fault driver’s insurer—If the police locate the other driver, you may be eligible to file a claim with his or her insurer if the policy is valid.
- Claims against your own insurer—If police never find the at-fault driver, or he or she is uninsured or underinsured, you can file a claim through your own insurer for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage benefits. Based on the specifics of your policy, you may be able to recoup compensation for medical bills, other out-of-pocket costs, wage loss, and pain and suffering.
- A personal injury lawsuit against the driver – Filing a lawsuit against the driver for their negligence might be necessary if the insurance company does not offer a favorable settlement directly.
Thus, although a criminal case against the hit and run driver may have the potential to boost your civil claim against them in a personal injury lawsuit as it provides evidence of negligence, it alone won’t help you recover compensation for your injuries. That is why you need a lawyer from Zanes Law Injury Lawyers to help you bring your civil claim against a hit-and-run driver or negotiate with their insurance company for a reasonable settlement.
Without filing a legal claim, you might receive no compensation from the other driver or insurance companies, despite clear fault.
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Why You Need A Lawyer for an Uninsured Motorist Claim
Normally, an at-fault driver that causes an accident is liable to compensate you for your losses, and this usually happens from their insurance company’s liability coverage. A typical means of financial recovery for injuries is a settlement negotiated with the negligent driver’s insurance company.
However, things become more complex when the driver flees the scene, as you will not have their insurance information to file a claim. Fortunately, your uninsured motorist policy should treat a hit-and-run driver like an uninsured driver and provide coverage.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, why do you need an attorney to navigate you through negotiations with your own insurance company? Shouldn’t your own insurance company be willing to pay the benefits you deserve since you pay your premiums?
Unfortunately, your insurance company is just like any other insurer – it wants to increase profits, which requires limiting payments on claims. Insurance adjusters can use the same tactics to try to limit uninsured motorist claims as they do for adversarial claims. This is why you need an advocate fighting for the full amount of benefits you deserve.
At Zanes Law Injury Lawyers, we have the experienced Tucson car accident attorneys you need to handle your claim and ensure that you are not left without due compensation for your injuries after a hit and run.
Damages You Can Seek in a Hit-and-Run Claim
When you file a civil claim against a driver or your own uninsured motorist policy, a variety of damages are available to you.
This includes any of these that apply in your case:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Estimated future medical costs
- Lost income
- Lost capacity to continue working
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other non-monetary losses like loss of reputation
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages
Determining the value of certain losses can be complicated, especially for future losses or intangible damages. Far too many people undervalue their claims, leaving a significant amount of money on the table and possibly even being responsible for medical costs and other out-of-pocket expenses moving forward.
You need professional assistance when it comes to valuing your claim to make sure you receive every penny you deserve. This is what Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can offer if you find yourself a victim of this type of car accident.
Should You Accept an Offer From an Insurance Company?
Insurance companies are known for low-balling their settlement offers, even in the case of a hit-and-run accident. You might be surprised that your insurance company tries to pay you far less than you deserve, but this is a standard practice whether you are a policyholder or filing an adverse claim against another driver’s insurer.
The most important rule is that you should never accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without first consulting with a lawyer and having them review the offer compared to your losses. As mentioned, it is common to underestimate your losses, so you might think a settlement offer is acceptable. In reality, your losses might cost much more than you believe, and you can fight for a much higher offer with the help of the right attorney.
Furthermore, if you receive a settlement offer from an insurance company, it eliminates your ability to seek further compensation in the future, including by filing a civil case against the at-fault driver. By accepting a settlement offer that is too low, you can put your entire financial future – and ability to fully recover from your injuries – at risk.
Instead, the best course of action in this situation is to contact a hit-and-run accident lawyer for help.
A lawyer can:
- Review your situation and identify all sources of liability, including the hit-and-run driver’s employer if they were on the job.
- Calculate the full value of your past and future losses stemming from your injuries, including pain and suffering.
- Evaluate settlement offers for adequacy and advise you when they believe a higher offer is possible.
- Provide additional information and evidence to the insurance company to support the full amount of your claim.
- Challenge any claims that you were partially responsible for the crash (if you are filing a claim against the at-fault driver).
- Enlist experts when needed to testify to your future losses, including future medical costs and lost earnings if your injuries prevent you from working.
- Negotiate with insurance adjusters and push back on their tactics to convince you to accept less than you deserve.
- Advise you when a settlement offer is fair and favorable given the circumstances of your case.
If an insurance company does not offer enough to cover your losses, your lawyer can always file an injury lawsuit in civil court. Simply having a lawyer handling your claim signals to the insurance company that you will not back down and will take the case to court when necessary.
Should a lawsuit become necessary, an experienced car accident lawyer can handle every step of the litigation process. This includes discovery, which is evidence gathering, and pretrial negotiations. Many cases end up settling in pretrial negotiations, as insurance companies do not want to risk having a jury decide their fate. Contact the skilled litigators at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers today.
Is it Worth the Cost to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
You might wonder why you would spend money on an attorney to help you seek money from an insurance company. Wouldn’t this mean you end up with less money in the end? Can you preserve more of your financial recovery if you seek it on your own?
The reality is that injured claimants with the right legal representation usually recover significantly higher settlements than they would on their own. This is true whether you are filing a claim against another at-fault driver or your own uninsured motorist policy following a hit and run.
In addition, our injury law firm accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we never receive payment unless you do.
- We provide completely free consultations and evaluate whether you have a valid claim at no cost and with no obligation.
- If you hire our firm, we provide the resources to investigate, file, and prove your claim.
- If you do not receive a settlement or award, you pay us nothing – ever.
- If you receive a settlement or award, our payment comes straight from those funds, so you never have to pull money from your own pocket.
We make sure that everyone understands exactly what they might pay from their settlement before they sign a representation agreement.
At Zanes Law Injury Lawyers, we believe our attorneys are well worth the investment, as we have the competence and resources necessary to properly pursue your car accident claim and help you recover substantial compensation to cover your losses.
There are many options for law firms in the Tucson area to represent your claim, but Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can provide all the resources and services necessary to fully legitimize your legal claim and turn it into significant compensation for your injuries whenever possible.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Hit and Run Accident Lawyer in Tucson
The Tucson, AZ attorneys on our staff are ready to help you receive the financial compensation you deserve. That starts with finding the hit and run driver and filing a comprehensive claim against their insurance company. We make it easy to work together by coming to you at your home, office, or hospital room.
During your initial consultation, we will discuss your claim, take steps to identify the at-fault driver, and make it easy to sign up and put us to work for you. You can sign up in person or over the phone. Call Zanes Law at (866) 499-8989 to speak to a hit and run accident lawyer in Tucson today.