Can You Be Charged with a Hit and Run After a Minor Accident in Arizona?

Can You Be Charged with a Hit and Run After a Minor Accident in Arizona?

There is no question that hit-and-run accidents happen all of the time. Sometimes an individual has no malicious intentions after an accident and doesn’t believe they are unlawfully leaving an accident scene. Other times an individual is intentionally fleeing an accident scene because they don’t want to take responsibility for their actions. An individual may be motivated to run away from an accident scene if they were intoxicated, for instance. Maybe a driver hits a pedestrian and is scared that they will face serious criminal charges if they don’t escape from where the collision took place. 

The reality is that even though an individual involved in a traffic accident is not required by law to personally be responsible for reporting an accident in the majority of accident situations calling the police is essential. If you were involved in an accident where there were injuries, death, and/or substantial personal property damages it is important not to leave the scene, make sure medical care is available, and to call the police. You should also stay until they arrive.

Why You Should Call the Police Even After a Minor Accident

Can You Be Charged with a Hit and Run After a Minor Accident in ArizonaOnly in Phoenix traffic accident cases where the most minimal harm transpired could it be conceivable not to call the authorities. If a minor collision resulted in no apparent injuries and only slight property damages you may agree with another driver to just handle the situation without the insurance company and without calling the authorities. This could work out for you or it could turn into an even bigger problem for you.

Arizona police must report an accident when any party sustained injuries, if the accident was fatal when the property damages exceed $1,000, and if anyone was given a citation. It is worth your time to call the police and allow them to scrutinize the accident scene even in situations where the accident was minor. Let the authorities determine for themself if a report should be made. Without calling the police and having an officer check-out the accident scene and decide if a report is necessary, you have no record of being on the scene. 

Should the other party leave the accident scene and despite agreeing with you that no report is required, they could call the police and say that you hit them and they were injured. This will put you in a situation where you could face charges for an Arizona hit-and-run. Any hurdles you would have to overcome these charges could have been prevented if a police officer was called to begin with. Now instead of just having to deal with payments for repairs to personal property, you are now potentially facing expensive fines and imprisonment.

Speak to an Arizona Personal Injury Attorney Today

It is in your best interest to call the authorities after an Arizona traffic accident. If the accident is minor the police may decide not to file a report but the other party cannot claim that you fled an accident scene. Sometimes the shock that comes with an accident can cause the body to mask injuries in the short term, but with time a victim will become aware of the bodily damage they sustained. If you find out that you were injured after an accident you may want to reconsider how you go about handling your accident situation. The Phoenix serious accident attorneys at ELG can review your accident experience and discuss with you what you can do to obtain compensation for damages. Call ELG today to schedule your free consultation at (623) 877-3600.