Drivers in Florida are legally obligated to stop if they collide with another vehicle. But unfortunately, many drivers fail to fulfill this legal obligation.
Every personal injury claim involving a car accident is complicated, but hit and run claims are even more complex. If you are injured in a hit and run accident, it is in your best interest to contact a Miami Car Accident Lawyer who can help you fight for the compensation that you are entitled to by law.
WHAT IS A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT?
Drivers who are involved in car accidents are required by law to stay at the scene of the accident. As its name suggests, a hit and run accident occurs when one party involved in the accident flees the scene instead of stopping. If the driver flees the scene, the other parties involved are never able to exchange insurance information or gather other important pieces of information they need to recover compensation.
CAN YOU RECOVER COMPENSATION FOR HIT AND RUN INJURIES?
Don’t give up hope on recovering compensation just because the other driver fled the scene of the crash. There are several ways for hit and run victims to obtain compensation for their injuries.
First, it is possible that law enforcement will track down and identify the driver that fled the scene. If they are able to find the driver, you can obtain their insurance information and proceed with your personal injury claim.
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, several types of policies may cover your damages, including:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): All drivers in Florida must carry a minimum of $10,000 of PIP 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. Therefore, if you are injured in a hit and run, you can file a claim with your insurance company and use your PIP insurance to cover your damages.
- 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 also use this coverage for hit and run accidents.
Make sure you review your insurance policy to determine what types of coverage are included in your policy. Then, speak to an attorney to determine the best way to move forward with your case.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT
Being involved in a car accident is incredibly stressful and nerve-wracking, especially if it’s a hit and run accident. But it’s important to remain calm. There are some steps that must be taken to not only protect your health, but also to increase the your chance of being able to recover compensation for your injuries. Here’s what to do after a hit and run:
Never Leave the Scene. Do not attempt to try and chase down the driver. By doing so, you could put yourself in danger and jeopardize 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.
Make Notes. 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 that leaves the scene:
- 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
Try to answer these questions about the driver of the vehicle that flees the scene:
- 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. The witnesses may have more information on the car that fled the scene, so make sure you ask them what they saw.
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 sustained.
WHY HIRE AN ATTORNEY AFTER A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT?
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 never be identified. Having to deal with the stress of being in an accident and recovering from your injuries is overwhelming. If you are injured in a hit and run accident, you will need to hire a Car Accident Lawyer to help fight for the compensation that you deserve.