Do I Need a Lawyer After a Hit and Run Accident?
Have you been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Florida? If so, you might be unsure what you should do. You may wonder who is responsible for paying your medical bills and your vehicle repairs.
Our Tampa injury attorneys are here to help if you have questions about personal injury lawsuits, car insurance claims, or hit-and-run cases. Contact our law firm for a free case evaluation from an experienced personal injury lawyer.
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Why is it Important to Call a Personal Injury Attorney After a Hit and Run Accident in Florida?
A car accident can be unexpected and traumatic. You may sustain severe injuries because of the car crash. You might also incur substantial financial losses and costs associated with the car wreck.
It is important to get answers to your questions and learn about your legal rights after a hit-and-run accident. Florida insurance laws are complicated. You may need a car accident lawyer just to navigate insurance claims.
A car accident attorney can explain how Florida statutes affect personal injury claims.
Other reasons it can help to consult a personal injury lawyer after a hit-and-run accident include:
- An attorney carefully analyzes the facts and circumstances of your hit-and-run car accident to provide an assessment of your legal rights and options.
- Your lawyer investigates the cause of the accident to gather evidence proving that the hit-and-run driver caused the crash.
- An attorney monitors the investigation by the police to locate the hit-and-run driver and may uncover evidence to help the police with the investigation.
- Your lawyer explores all insurance options available to recover compensation for your economic damages and non-economic damages.
- An attorney researches statutes and laws to determine if the statute of limitations (the deadline to file a lawsuit) can be tolled until the identity of the hit-and-run driver is known.
- Your lawyer can help you navigate the complicated criminal justice system if the other driver is charged with a crime related to the hit-and-run accident.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, our personal injury lawyers have over 75 years of combined legal experience handling personal injury cases. Since 1996, we have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Our attorneys understand the laws governing hit-and-run accidents and how to use those laws to get you the maximum compensation available for your case. We are here to help you with the legal aspects of your hit-and-run accident so that you can focus on healing and recovering from your accident injuries.
What Are Your Responsibilities After a Hit and Run Accident in Florida?
Every driver should understand what to do after an accident, including their responsibilities after a hit-and-run crash.
Under Florida statutes, you must remain at the scene of an accident and call 911 to report the crash if any of the following situations apply:
- Someone was injured or killed in the crash
- The crash involved a hit-and-run driver
- A driver was intoxicated
- A wrecker is needed to remove the vehicle after the collision
- The crash involves a commercial motor vehicle
- The is property damage of at least $500
A driver may be able to self-report the car accident if none of the above criteria are met. However, it is usually best to allow police to investigate the accident and file an accident report.
The law requires you to help injury victims seek medical attention. You need to call 911 immediately to request emergency medical services. Then, follow the instructions given to you by the emergency operator.
Filing a No-Fault Insurance Claim After a hit-and-run Accident
Florida requires all drivers to have no-fault car insurance, or “Personal Injury Protection (PIP)” coverage. The minimum PIP coverage is $10,000.
PIP insurance pays up to 80 percent of a person’s reasonable medical expenses up to the policy limits. It does not matter who causes the accident. Therefore, you can file a claim with your PIP insurance carrier after a hit-and-run accident.
Your PIP insurance coverage should also compensate you for up to 60 percent of your lost wages after a hit-and-run accident. The amount you receive depends on the policy limits.
Unfortunately, a severe car accident can result in damages that exceed your PIP coverage. If so, you may be able to recover additional compensation by filing a claim against your uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Hit & Run Accidents
Florida laws do not require drivers to purchase UM (uninsured motorist coverage) coverage. However, many insurance companies offer this optional insurance coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage pays you as if your insurance company represents the at-fault driver or hit-and-run driver. The value of your claim depends on the facts of your case.
Damages included in a hit-and-run accident claim include, but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses and bills
- Loss of income and benefits
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Reductions in earning potential
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
You must prove that the hit-and-run driver caused the accident to recover compensation for your damages. Unless there are witnesses or video evidence of the crash, proving fault for a hit-and-run crash can be challenging. Having a personal injury lawyer investigate the cause of the crash and gather evidence proving fault can help increase your chance of winning your case.
Who is Responsible for Damages Caused by a Hit and Run Accident?
In addition to the hit-and-run driver, there could be other parties liable for your damages. A personal injury attorney investigates the cause of the crash to determine if other parties could be responsible.
For example, vehicle manufacturers could be liable for damages if a defective car part contributed to the cause of the collision. If the vehicle that hit you was a commercial vehicle or business vehicle, the driver’s employer could share in the responsibility for your injuries and damages.
In some cases, other parties, such as pedestrians, bicyclists, or other drivers, might have contributed to the case of the crash. As a result, you could sue these parties for compensation of damages. In addition, dangerous road conditions could result in a claim against a government entity for negligence.
It is crucial to identify all parties who might have contributed to the cause of the accident. Filing claims against all responsible parties increases the chance you recover the money you deserve for a hit-and-run accident.
Contact Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Having experienced legal advice regarding a hit-and-run crash is essential for protecting your rights. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys provide no-cost case reviews so you can get the answers to your questions about injury claims.
Contact our office to schedule your free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys in Tampa.