It has always been against the law in Arizona to leave the scene of a car accident without being cleared by police or other officials first. These laws are designed to hold drivers responsible when they cause collisions but they are also designed to promote safety. In the event that the driver or a passenger involved in a crash is unable to call for help themselves, others involved in the collision may be able to do so, speeding up a potential response time and decreasing the odds of death or permanent injury.
Yet in the eyes of many, the laws as they existed were not strong enough to properly punish those involved in hit-and-run accidents. Drivers who fled the scene may have received a range of punishments based on the charges brought against them, if any. Starting Thursday, that is changing as a new law in Arizona takes effect.
Known as “Joey’s Law,” the new law will make it a felony if a driver fails to stop after an accident where someone is hurt and that driver was involved in the crash. This charge can lead to serious time behind bars as well as other forms of punishment, including substance abuse treatment if a driver is found to be under the influence at the time of the impact.
These changes to the criminal and traffic penalties facing hit-and-run drivers are not the only punishment that may result, though. Victims of these crashes will still be entitled to seek financial relief for their damages regardless of what citations, if any, a hit-and-run driver receives. That is because the right to pursue a recovery belongs to a victim and is the victim’s to bring. These claims can seek compensation for lost wages, medical and surgical expenses, pain and suffering, and even loss of a normal life, depending on the facts surrounding an individual crash. Speaking with a lawyer who has experience representing hit-and-run accident victims in Phoenix may help you understand your legal options if you have been involved in a collision.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we focus our work on the representation of injury victims and we never represent insurance companies. We have a No Fee Guarantee which means that if we do not make a recovery on behalf of our clients, our clients never owe us for our services. We offer a free case consultation to all injury victims who call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and there is no obligation on your part for speaking with us.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we understand that being the victim of a hit-and-run crash in the Phoenix area can affect an entire family and that the damage can last a lifetime. We approach our representation of clients with this in mind, fighting for the best possible outcome in every single case we take. If you have been hurt in an accident or if your loved one has been killed, call us today and let us fight for your right to a recovery.
Prior Blog Entry:
Motorcyclist Killed in Arizona Accident, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published July 22, 2014.
New penalties for hit and run drivers change Thursday, by Marc Martinez, Fox 10 News, published July 23, 2014.