Auto Accidents Lawyer: Understanding Hit and Runs in Florida
If you are in a car accident, one thing you and the other driver typically do is share auto insurance information. This is especially true if you have been injured. But in a hit and run accident, the other party runs off before you or the police have a chance to identify them and/or obtain insurance information. These types of accidents are unfortunately very common.
If you are the victim, expenses may quickly add up. The problem is, who pays? Your insurance company may drag its feet to finalize a payout, if any. However, if you are represented by an attorney, your chances increase for full and fair compensation. Secondly, a personal injury lawyer can investigate the accident, so you don't have to wait for the police to find answers. Third, you can get your questions answered and have someone working on your behalf to secure your best interest.
Why Drivers in Florida Leave the Scene of a Crash Hit and Run Charges
In the immediate aftermath of a car crash, a driver who is scared of the repercussions of causing an accident may flee the scene. Common reasons include:
- Driver's license suspension
- Expired driver's license
- No auto insurance
- Driving a vehicle without permission
- Driving a stolen vehicle
- Warrant out for the driver's arrest
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other chemical substance
- Driver is in the country illegally
These are not the only reasons. For some people, they may have a genuine fear for their safety. Commercial drivers may fear the loss of their commercial driver's license (CDL). Whatever the reason, the problem for you is that they left the scene of the accident.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Charges Crash in Florida
Victims who have been hit by a driver who sped off should
- Stay calm
- Stay at the scene, but in a safe place
- Call the police
- Look for any witnesses who saw the crash and get their contact information
- Take photos of the scene of the accident
- Make notes of the car and/or driver, any details could be useful later
Victims should not try to follow the driver. The odds of tracking them down are extremely slim, and leaving the scene could make it more difficult to prove that there was a crash, at all.
Personal Injury Claims in Florida Involving Hit and Run Drivers
Because the driver fled the scene, tracking them down is the first step in a personal injury claim. When the person is found, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Through this lawsuit, your attorney will negotiate a settlement in your favor or pursue trial if that's in your best interest.
Ways to find the person are many, but specific to each case. There may have been cameras or eyewitnesses that can help lead to the car and/or driver. The police are following up on leads too, and we communicate directly with the police as appropriate.
If the hit and run vehicle and driver are not found, you may have other options. For example, if you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, we can file a claim to secure coverage under the UM policy. We will identify what those options might be, and if it is through your insurance company, we will work with the insurance adjuster directly. As you may know, even if it is your own insurance company, it does not mean your insurer has your best interests in mind. They worry about their profits and will try to minimize or avoid paying for some costs. As strategic negotiators, our attorneys are well versed on the tactics used by insurance adjusters to minimize your claim.
Contact a Hit and Run Accident Attorney in Florida
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, you should first seek medical attention for any injuries you may have suffered. Next, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney ASAP. Contact us today at 813-320-7500 to schedule a free consultation.
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