Hit and Run Accidents
The At-Fault Driver Disappears
Unfortunately, even though the law requires each of us to stop at the scene of an accident and exchange information, etc, too often in my automobile accident attorney practice in the Phoenix east Valley, I run into situations where the at-fault driver left the scene of the accident, never to be seen again.
Some of these drivers leave the scene of an accident because they were drinking and driving and were afraid of getting arrested. Others leave because of their immigration status, afraid that if they stay, they will end up being deported. Others leave because they simply do not possess a license operate a motor vehicle. Some are just bad people. No matter the reason, there you are, injured on the side of the road, with no one to point at and say “it was his fault!”
Well, this is yet another reason why you must purchase uninsured motorist coverage. Even if the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident, in many situations, Arizona law requires your insurance company to protect you.
Now, because this I situation is ripe for fraud, yes, there are people who will fake accidents and injuries just to collect settlement money, the law is written in such a way as to put the burden of proof on the injured party, or “the claimant.”
Arizona Revised Statute 20-259.01(M) described this burden of proof. As you will see, it is quite broad and is written to enforce the state’s public policy to prohibit fraud and sham claims made against insurance companies:
M. If an insured makes a bodily injury or death claim under uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage based on an accident that involved an unidentified motor vehicle and no physical contact with the motor vehicle occurred, the insured shall provide corroboration that the unidentified motor vehicle caused the accident. For the purposes of this subsection, “corroboration” means any additional and confirming testimony, fact or evidence that strengthens and adds weight or credibility to the insured’s representation of the accident.
Thus, if someone hits your vehicle and leaves a dent and paint scraping behind, you can make the claim with relative ease. There was direct “physical contact” between your vehicle and an unidentified vehicle. But if there is no DIRECT contact between your motor vehicle and another motor vehicle, then you have to provide “corroborating evidence” that establishes another vehicle hit you, caused your injury, and left the scene. If you can do that, your uninsured motorist coverage would most probably apply.
It sounds simple but the legal world is never that simple.
Which is why if you are injured by a hit and run driver, or if you are forced off the road or otherwise come into contact with some mechanical part of another vehicle in the roadway, it is worth the time and effort to have the your facts evaluated by an experienced personal injury attorney in Gilbert.
Hit and run claims can be very complicated. If you are injured by another vehicle who leaves the scene of an accident or if you just did not have a chance to observe the other car or if another car forces you to take evasive action leading to an accident, or whatever, at least have your case looked at by a personal injury or car accident lawyer in Gilbert.
Unfortunately, the law has its own logic. What might seem obvious to you, or what you might think is just plain common sense, does not mean that a court of law, or least of all, an insurance company, will agree with you.
Sometimes, you have to fight for your rights.
Contact Marco Injury Law today for more information.
Daniel Marco – Marco Injury Law
1166 E Warner Rd #101
Gilbert, AZ 85296
Email: [email protected]