All drivers in an accident in Florida, like most states, are obligated to come to a complete stop at the scene. You must aid if you are able if there appear to be significant injuries. If there are any injuries or damage worth $500 or more, you must contact law enforcement under Florida legislation. A hit-and-run is an incident in which one or more of the drivers involved does not comply with any of the above criteria. A hit-and-run driver frequently elects to flee the scene before other drivers could get their bearings, instead of exiting his or her vehicle.
If you are one of the thousands of Florida drivers who have been in a hit-and-run accident, you may be feeling scared and confused. Hit-and-run accidents can leave victims feeling frustrated and helpless. However, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. In this blog post, we will outline what to do if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in Florida.
If you’ve been recently hurt in a hit-and-run accident in Florida, contact Herman & Wells at (727)821-3195 or use our online form to request a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced in handling hit-and-run cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve.
The Cliff Notes: Key Takeaways From This Post
We listed a guide on dealing with hit and run accidents; however, here are the key bullet points if you are in a rush:
- Data shows that hit-and-run accidents are common in Florida, with 66 per day in 2016 resulting in 2,946 injuries and 659 fatalities.
- In some cases it is possible to track down the at-fault party with enough information from eyewitnesses.
- After a hit-and-run accident, call 911 to ensure safety and gather any information from witnesses.
- Take photos of the scene and record all details that you can remember for police investigation.
- Seek injury compensation through filing a claim with your insurance company, or by pursuing PIP or UM/UIM coverage options if applicable.
- Avoid trying to chase after the other driver or confronting them; be sure to stay at the scene of the accident until police arrive.
- Know how your auto insurance will handle a hit & run accident before submitting a claim.
- Contact a Florida Personal Injury lawyer to get personal advice on rights and the legal process.
Immediate Steps to Take After a Hit & Run Accident in Florida
There are steps that you can take to protect yourself and ensure that you get maximum compensation when you file a claim:
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, the first thing you should do is make sure that everyone involved is safe. Do not chase the fleeing motorist. If anyone involved in the collision is injured, contact emergency services immediately.
If you are able to, try to get the license plate number of the car that hit you. This information will be helpful to the police as they investigate the accident.
If you have any witnesses to the accident, ask them for their contact information. Witnesses can be helpful in providing information to the police about what happened.
Take pictures of the scene of the accident. This will help document what happened and can be used as evidence in a claim.
If you are able to, write down everything that you remember about the accident. This information can also be helpful to the police as they investigate.
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
A lawyer can help advise you on your rights and can help guide you through the legal process.
How Common Are Hit & Run Accidents in Florida?
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, hit-and-run accidents are more common than you might think. In 2016, there were a total of 24,871 hit-and-run accidents in Florida. That’s about 66 accidents every day.
In 2016, there were a total of 24,871 hit-and-run accidents in Florida. That’s about 66 accidents every day. These accidents resulted in 2,946 injuries and 659 fatalities. Hit-and-run accidents can happen anywhere at any time, but they are most commonly seen on busy streets during rush hour traffic. At Herman & Wells, we’ve seen our fair share of hit-and-run car accidents. Contact us to get a free review of your Florida hit-and-run claim.
Is It Ever Possible To Track Down the At-Fault Party?
In some cases, it is possible to track down the at-fault party after a hit and run. If there is any information on the vehicle such as a license plate number or description, the police can often trace the vehicle to the owner. If there is no information available on the car, eyewitnesses may be able to provide a description of the driver or even a license plate number. With enough information, the police can often identify and find the driver who caused the accident.
Seeking Injury Compensation After a Hit & Run
If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident, seeking injury compensation may be the last thing on your mind. However, it’s important to remember that you may be able to hold the driver responsible for your injuries and receive damages for your pain and suffering.
To seek injury compensation after a hit-and-run accident, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. Be prepared to provide documentation of your injuries, as well as evidence linking the driver to the hit and run. If you can’t track down the driver, your insurance company may still be able to compensate you for your injuries.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
All drivers in Florida are required by law to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. Your insurance company, not the other driver’s, pays for your personal injury damages up to the amount of your PIP policy regardless of who is at fault. Unfortunately, PIP coverage doesn’t cover that much these days if you’ve been severely injured. That’s also why we highly recommend investing in uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in Florida.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
If the motorist who hits you does not have automobile insurance or has insufficient coverage to compensate for all of your damages, these are optional add-on provisions that will pay out. In some jurisdictions, including Florida, you may also employ UM/UIM to cover the costs associated with a hit-and-run accident.
What You Should Not Do After a Hit & Run Accident
If you are ever involved in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to remember what not to do. This will help keep you safe and ensure that the situation is handled properly. Here are five things you should avoid doing if you find yourself in this situation.
- Do not try to chase after the other driver. This could put you in danger and make the situation worse. You could also lose out on eyewitness testimonies and police might question who is to blame if you leave the scene of the accident.
- Do not get out of your car to confront the other driver. This could also lead to dangerous consequences.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. It is important to exchange information with the other driver and file a police report. Leaving the scene could result in penalties or fines.
- Report the accident ASAP. We highly recommend contacting the cops immediately if you physically can after a hit-and-run accident in Florida. That police report is very important in the aftermath of a car accident. The official accident report will assist the police in locating the missing motorist, and it will be beneficial when you submit your claim.
How Do Hit & Run Accidents Impact Your Auto Insurance in Florida?
If you are injured in a hit-and-run accident in Florida, your first priority should be to seek medical attention. Once you have been treated for your injuries, you may want to consider taking legal action against the driver who hit you. In Florida, hit-and-run accidents are handled somewhat differently than other types of car accidents. Here is what you need to know about hit and run accidents and how they impact your auto insurance:
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that your own auto insurance policy will be the primary source of coverage for your damages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Under Florida law, all drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as mentioned earlier. In a hit-and-run accident, things can get complicated because you may not be able to identify the driver who hit you. If you are unable to identify the driver, you may still be able to make a claim under your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you should contact your auto insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Your insurance company will likely need some time to investigate the accident and determine whether or not you will be covered. In the meantime, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to help you with your case. A personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence and build a strong case against the at-fault driver.
If you’re not sure how your policy will respond to a hit-and-run, contact your insurance company.
Injured in a Car Accident? Schedule a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our lawyers at Herman & Wells are experienced in handling these types of cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve.
We offer free consultations so that you can discuss your case with one of our attorneys and learn more about your legal options. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you get started on your road to recovery.