A hit and run accident is the most devastating type of car accident because it leaves the victim saddled with medical debt, lost wages, and pain without any answers or hope for justice. Car accidents alone are catastrophic enough for injured parties. However, when the victim is left injured on the side of the road, the at-fault driver becomes criminally culpable. If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, you may feel lost, frustrated, and confused about how to proceed without knowing the identity of the responsible driver. Unfortunately, hit and run accidents are on the rise in Florida. Recent studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that almost half of collisions involve a hit and run driver. In fact, 1,449 of these crashes were fatal for the victim. Though traffic-related accidents are dropping overall, hit and run fatalities have risen a whopping 14% in the past three years.
What happens if you have been injured in a hit and run accident? If you were driving a car at the time and had car insurance, your insurance company may cover some of your damages. A personal injury attorney can assist you with negotiating with your insurance company for more coverage. If you were hit as a pedestrian or bicyclist, however, you will likely not have insurance that will cover the accident. A skilled personal injury attorney can then assist you with tracking down the responsible party to make them answer for their negligence. Kaiser Romanello is a boutique personal injury law firm located in Parkland, Florida that handles all types of car accidents, no matter how challenging or complex. Our attorneys have almost 25 years of combined experience with pursuing justice for victims of hit and run accidents. To schedule a free case evaluation with our skilled personal injury lawyers, contact our South Florida law firm today.
WHAT IS A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT?
A hit and run accident is a car accident in which the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the crash. Usually, the at-fault driver intentionally decides to flee due to a fear of accepting the responsibility and costs associated with the accident. In addition, many drivers leave the scene of the accident because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Hit and run accidents are a serious problem in Florida. When a hit and run accident is severe enough to cause major injuries, the person who is best equipped to call an ambulance, the at-fault driver, leaves the victim for dead. It may be hours or even days before someone else assists the injured victim. Immediate life-saving medical assistance is crucial for many of these catastrophic accidents, but when the victim is too disabled to summon an ambulance on his own, the extent of his injuries may multiply tenfold due to the lack of timely medical treatment.
70,000 hit and run accidents were reported in the state of Florida in the past year. 60% of all fatal car accidents involved pedestrians killed during hit and run accidents. In response to rising rates of hit and run crashes, the Florida legislature criminalized fleeing the scene of an accident, which is penalized with a mandatory prison sentence. In addition, hit and run drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be charged with vehicular manslaughter if the crash results in a death.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT
There are two types of hit and run accidents: those in which the victim is covered by eligible insurance and those in which no insurance is available. The state of Florida requires all drivers on the road to maintain car insurance and even sets out mandatory minimum coverage limits. Therefore, if you are driving and are involved in a hit and run accident, you can file a claim through your own car insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
To file a claim, call your insurance company after the accident. Provide any details about what happened, as well as any information you may have about the at-fault driver. Discuss the damage to your vehicle, as well as the extent of your injuries. The insurance company will explain your coverage, including your maximums for various issues such as property damage and medical bills. A skilled personal injury lawyer can assist you with negotiating with your insurance company for coverage of medical operations, income assistance, and more.
In addition, you should contact the authorities. It is a crime to leave the scene of a car accident. Provide the police with everything you know about the other driver, such as car make and model, color, license plate state, license plate number, and what the driver looked like. The police may be able to track down the driver with this description or may be able to pull video footage from traffic cameras to identify the driver. If the driver is found, you can pursue compensation directly from the driver.
If you were a pedestrian or bicyclist and were injured in a hit and run accident, you likely do not have insurance that will agree to cover your injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer can advise you on how to proceed and can assist law enforcement with locating the responsible party.
KAISER ROMANELLO, P.A. PROVIDES ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS OF FLORIDA HIT AND RUN ACCIDENTS
After a hit and run accident occurs, you want the at-fault driver to accept responsibility for the accident and reimburse you for your damages. Kaiser Romanello can assist you with pursuing justice by helping you track down the at-fault driver, negotiate with car insurance companies, and explore your legal options. To schedule a free, no-hassle consultation with our personal injury attorneys, contact Kaiser Romanello’s Parkland, Florida law office today.