If you are involved in a hit and run accident, you then will have to contact your own insurance provider to cover any damages. However, there is another option. You can attempt to locate the driver and file for compensation. However, in a hit and run accident, it can be challenging to track down the at-fault driver. Dealing and recovering from a hit and run accident can take a toll on a person. If you are injured in a hit and run accident, contact a Miami Car Accident Lawyer who can help you fight for the compensation that you are entitled to.
What Classifies as a Hit and Run Accident?
In the state of Florida and many other states, when someone has been involved in an auto accident, it is required by law that they stay at the scene of the accident. In case there are any injuries, you must try and offer medical assistance until medical personnel are contacted and arrive on the scene. However, a hit and run accident is where one more driver does not follow the above-stated law. Often, a driver who is involved in a hit and run accident never exits their vehicle and instead chooses to leave the scene before the other driver can wrap their mind around what happened.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident?
If you are involved in an accident and you have injuries, the first step is to seek medical attention such as contacting emergency personnel. If you have minor injuries and can take note of the other driver’s vehicle or license plate information, this could be helpful in later locating the driver. Also, be sure to gather witness’s information and file a police report.
Once you have obtained all this information, even if you believe your injuries do not warrant medical attention, it is advised you are still seen by a doctor. There are some cases where you feel you were not injured at the time of the accident, but later on it is revealed that you received hidden injuries. The sooner you seek medical attention, the better the probability for your injury attorney to link the damage to your auto accident.
Is Compensation Possible?
The chances of receiving compensation from a hit and run accident is dependent upon tracking and locating the guilty driver. If there is no chance of finding the hit and run driver, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. In this situation, some policy requirements come to the surface:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): All drivers in Florida must carry a minimum of $10,000 of PIP on their insurance. The reason for this type of coverage is so that no matter who is at fault for the accident, the insurance company will pay for personal damages up to your limit on your policy.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This type of coverage is optional for Florida drivers. However, it is beneficial because it pays for damages when you are hit by someone who does not have insurance or enough coverage to pay for the damages caused. In Florida, you can use this coverage for hit and run accidents.
However, if local law enforcement is successful at locating the hit and run driver, you have the option to sue them in a private lawsuit for damages occurred.
Protecting Your Injury Claim
Once the hit and run accident occurs, there are some steps that must be taken to not only protect your health, but to increase the chance of being able to file a claim for compensation.
Never Leave the Scene. Do not attempt to try and chase down the driver. By doing so, you could put yourself in danger and destabilize your claim.
Call 911. When calling 911, inform the dispatcher of any injuries. Provide your contact phone number in case you are disconnected, a description of the vehicle who left the scene of the accident, your location and in which direction the vehicle fled to.
Make Note. Write down every possible detail about the car and the driver. Law enforcement can use this information to find the driver. Write down any injuries or pain you are experiencing along with a daily diary entry of how the injuries have affected your everyday living.
Information to make a note of about the car:
- License plate information
- Vehicle description – make, model, color, estimated year
- 4-door or 2-door
- Car or Truck
- Trailer hitches, bike racks, etc.
- Cracks, dents, broken lights or windshields, missing parts
- Paint markings, decals, stickers
- Noises such as brake or belt noises, loud muffler, etc
Information about the driver:
- Was the driver male or female?
- What was their approximate age?
- Can you give any clothing descriptions such as a hat, glasses, beard or any other distinguishing features?
- Did you notice the driver smoking or using another substance?
- Was anything tossed from the car as it fled from the scene?
- Were there any other passengers and how many?
Receive Medical Attention. Don’t ever refuse medical attention. You may not feel any pain now, but there could be some injuries that you are not aware of at the time.
Locate Witnesses. Finding a witness can be important for when you file your claim. Some insurance companies will need someone to verify that there was, in fact, a hit and run accident.
Document the Scene with Pictures. Having photos or videos can be important when providing evidence in your claim. Take pictures of any debris or damaged areas on your vehicle. Also, photograph any injuries that you have incurred.
Why Hire an Attorney for Compensation?
Being involved in a hit and run accident can leave you in a tough situation. The individual who fled the scene of the accident may not have active insurance or in some cases may never found. Having to talk to insurance companies and trying to avoid paying damage claims on your vehicle can be tiresome and cause emotional distress. For those who are injured in a hit and run accident and don’t have PIP, you will need to hire a Car Accident Lawyer to help fight for the compensation that you deserve.