After you have been involved in an accident, one of the most important things to do after making sure that everyone is safe and secure is to exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver. By doing so, you can both be sure that you will have protection from the other driver’s insurance company if you need it, and that the driver was operating the vehicle legally.
However, sometimes after an accident a driver my flee the scene without giving you their information, or even stopping at all. This is called a hit and run, and cause serious problems for the victims of the crash. There are many different reasons why someone would decide to flee an accident, including instances where they are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving with a suspended license (or without a license at all), or even driving a stolen vehicle. In some instances, the other driver may not have even realized that they caused an accident.
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, contact 1800-Injured as soon as possible. You will be able to find an attorney who will suit your needs and fight for your rights no matter how complicated the situation is. They will work with your insurance company, and if the other driver is found, they will pursue their insurance company aggressively to ensure that you get the care and compensation that you need.
Read more below about some of the specifics of a hit and run accident in Florida, and contact us now so that we can connect you with the right personal injury lawyer to suit your needs.
What Is a Hit and Run?
A hit and run accident takes place when a car or truck hits another vehicle, a motorcycle, a bicycle rider, a pedestrian, or even property, and then leaves the scene of the accident without following the proper steps, such as exchanging insurance information and waiting for police to arrive and fill out a report.
When a driver leaves the scene of an accident without following these steps, it is a crime. It is absolutely essential that you do not ever leave the scene of an accident until you have at least touched base with the other driver, but it is always better that you contact the proper authorities and ensure that there is a police report to document all of the information about the entire situation before you leave.
Seeking Damages After a Hit and Run Accident
There are a few different options that you may have after you are injured in a hit and run accident. The best possible case is that the police are able to locate the perpetrator, and they will be held responsible for their actions. In many cases around Florida, there are security cameras and traffic cameras that may be able to provide evidence that may ultimately lead to catching the person responsible. In this case, they will be the ones who must answer for their actions, and either their insurance company will need to cover it, or if they are uninsured, your insurance will cover it under the Uninsured Motorist section of your policy. In addition to the civil lawsuit that you will be pursuing against them, they will also be facing criminal charges for at least leaving the accident, as well as any other crimes they committed during the event.
Uninsured Motorist Policy Benefits in Hit and Run Accidents
The state of Florida leads the nation in uninsured motorists, with nearly one in four drivers failing to maintain proper coverage. This staggering statistic is why insurers encourage you to carry an additional uninsured motorist policy, even though it’s not required by law. If you are involved in a hit and run accident, and the other motorist is either unidentified or uninsured—a significant factor in hit and run accidents—your uninsured motorist policy may cover damage to your vehicle, injuries, lost wages, and other noneconomic damages.
Hiring a Lawyer For a Hit and Run
When you hire a car accident attorney for a hit and run case, you are not just hiring them to seek damages against the other driver — you are hiring an expert to guide you through the entire process, to ensure that you are covering all of your bases and ensuring that you are getting the best opportunity for the maximum damages no matter the situation.
If police are unable to find the person responsible for the accident, you will still need to deal with many different complicated processes to ensure that you are adequately compensated by your own insurance company. In situations where you have suffered from serious injuries, you may exceed your policy limit and things will get even trickier. At this point, you will be very thankful to have the legal representation and guidance of your attorney that you are connected with through 1800-Injured.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Hit and Run
If the police do manage to locate the other driver, then you will be able to seek compensation from their insurance company, and will likely file a lawsuit to fully compensate for your damages and your suffering. The amount that you seek will include both economic and non-economic damages, and in the case of something like a hit and run, the jury may award punitive damages as well. However, your lawyer will not be able to argue for or request punitive damages, so the only damages we will consider below are the ones that you will specifically fight for.
Economic damages are the damages you suffer from that have measurable dollar values associated with them. They include things like lost wages from time missed working as a result of your accident and injuries, as well as your medical expenses and any future possible expenses or lost income. They may also include things like long-term disability if you are unable to resume working to your previous capacity for an extended time or permanently.
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for the parts of an injury that do not have measurable dollar values or repayment amounts associated with them. This includes things like pain, suffering, anguish, depression, and the other “intangible” impacts that a serious injury can have on a victim. Even though these impacts are more difficult to quantify, they are no less important to get in order to be fairly treated after this terrible event.
Contact Us Now
If you would rather not have to go through the process of searching for an attorney, vetting and researching them, and stressing over whether or not you have made the right decision, contact 1800-Injured and take advantage of our large, trustworthy referral network of experienced personal injury attorneys in Florida. We are confident that our network has the right lawyer for your case, and we are happy to give you this easy access so that you can spend your time focusing on recovery and getting your life back on track. We look forward to working with you as soon as you reach out to us.