Motorcycle Accidents and Hit-and-Run Incidents: Legal Options in Arizona

Riding a motorcycle can be an exciting form of transportation and recreation. However, motorcycle riders face serious risks on Arizona roads. Motorcycle accidents account for a disproportionate number of traffic injuries and fatalities compared to other vehicles. When another driver causes a motorcycle crash and leaves the scene, the challenges for the injured victim multiply.

What Actions Constitute a Hit-and-Run in Arizona?

Under Arizona law, a hit-and-run occurs when a driver is involved in an accident with any vehicle, property, or person and fails to:

  • Immediately stop at the scene.
  • Remain at the scene to provide aid to any injured people.
  • Give their name, license number, and other relevant information to the other parties involved.
  • Notify law enforcement of the accident.

These requirements apply whether the driver caused the accident or was simply involved in it in any way. Fleeing an accident scene is against the law, even if the driver was not at fault.

Potential Criminal Charges for Hit-and-Run

Depending on the circumstances of the hit-and-run, drivers may face misdemeanor or felony criminal charges in Arizona, such as:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death – Class 3 felony
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving only damage to a vehicle or property – Class 1 misdemeanor
  • Causing an accident involving injury or death and leaving the scene – Class 2 felony

These criminal penalties can include jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, and probation. The severity increases for accidents with serious injuries or fatalities.

Civil Liability in Hit-and-Run Claims

Beyond potential criminal prosecution, a hit-and-run driver also faces civil liability. Their actions make it difficult for the victim to identify them or their insurance coverage. However, victims have legal options to pursue compensation.

An experienced personal injury attorney can help motorcycle accident victims investigate the at-fault driver’s identity through:

  • Witness statements
  • Surveillance footage
  • Debris left at the scene
  • Police reports
  • DMV and insurance record searches

Once the hit-and-run driver is identified, the victim can make an injury claim directly against their auto insurance policy, just as in any car accident case. This covers medical expenses, lost income, disability, pain and suffering, and other damages.

If the at-fault driver remains unidentified, the victim may be able to file a claim under their own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This protects against hit-and-run scenarios and drivers with inadequate or no insurance.

Legal Action Against Government Entities

In some cases, dangerous road conditions like poor lighting or lack of signs may contribute to a hit-and-run accident. Victims may be able to bring a claim against the Arizona DOT or local government for failure to correct the hazard. However, strict notice of claim deadlines and caps on damages apply to such cases under Arizona law.

Get Legal Help from Monge & Associates Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a motorcycle accident injury in Arizona, contact Monge & Associates today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. With 32 offices in 19 states, including Arizona, Ohio, and Utah, we have been helping motorcycle victims for decades. Call (888) 477-0597 or reach out online to learn more about your legal rights and options.