At times, it seems like a certain type of accident keeps happening over and over again in the Phoenix area, making headlines and causing citizens to ask themselves why tragedies continue to take place. Recently, there have been a number of pedestrian collisions with hit-and-run automobile drivers in Maricopa County and several of them have caused serious harm. At least one has proven to be fatal.
Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to understand why drivers flee the scene after colliding with a pedestrian. In some instances, the driver simply fears any fallout that may happen due to the collision and determines that avoiding any contact with the police or the victim may be the best option to avoid problems. In other cases, a driver may realize she is responsible and therefore will flee to hide her identity, especially if other factors are in play like a driver who is drunk or high. And in some other situations, a driver may not realize that he collided with a person, instead thinking that he hit debris or some other object, leading that driver to flee but possibly not with the intention of leaving an injured victim behind.
Regardless of why drivers flee after a pedestrian accident, it is against the law in Arizona and a motorist may face more significant charges if she does not remain at the scene. In addition to any traffic tickets or criminal offenses charged to the driver, that motorist may be held liable for any and all damages that stem from an accident, including damages to the injured victim personally. A civil claim for relief can help a victim obtain payment for things like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and inconvenience. It is up to a victim to bring a claim and a claim for relief cannot be prevented by a responsible driver who simply is trying to avoid liability.
The best thing to do is to prevent as many pedestrian crashes as possible so that lives will not be affected or altered by them. To do this, both drivers and walkers can take certain steps to ensure the greatest amount of safety possible – no matter when or where you may be traveling.
Drivers should always watch for pedestrian traffic and should be particularly cognizant of walkers near intersections, schools, and public transit stations. They should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when appropriate and should decrease their speeds when approaching a pedestrian-heavy area.
For their part, pedestrians should only cross roadways in designated crosswalks and should only do so when traffic is clear or when they have the right-of-way by a traffic control device. If walking at night, pedestrians should utilize reflective and/or bright clothing to make themselves as visible as possible to passing traffic and pedestrians should never assume that drivers will respect their personal space for walking.
If an accident between a pedestrian and a vehicle in Mesa, Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, or elsewhere in the Phoenix area altered your life or took someone you love, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation. We have a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and we will keep everything discussed during the consultation confidential.
Further, if we represent you, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
Prior Blog Entry:
Swimming Pool Safety Tips in Phoenix, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 9, 2016.