What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident?
From 2015 up to 2020, 600,185 hit-and-run accidents that resulted in 1,298 deaths occurred in Florida. A hit-and-run is considered a serious crime in the Sunshine state. It involves a driver who caused a motor vehicle accident and then fled the scene without identifying themselves and extending help to other people involved in the accident. If you’ve been injured by a hit-and-run driver, your first priority is your safety.
Make sure that everyone is safe (call 911 if you have serious injuries), place your vehicle on the side of the road and away from traffic (if applicable), and call the police so a report can be made about the incident. You must not pursue the hit-and-run driver because the risk of endangering yourself in a car chase is just not worth it. It is, however, a good idea to try and list down every little detail you can remember about the accident, such as:
- The vehicle’s color, model, make, and license plate number
- Any unique marks on the vehicle, such as dents or bumper stickers
- The appearance of the driver
- The specific circumstances that led to the accident
You should likewise consider looking around for any witnesses that may have seen anything or nearby businesses that may have footage of the accident from their security cameras. Once the police arrive, tell them everything you know about the incident.
Recovering Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident
After completing the steps above and seeking medical attention for your injuries, you will need to contact your auto insurance provider to notify them about the accident and initiate an insurance claim. Because of the no-fault auto insurance system in Florida, your first avenue of recovery is through your own insurance.
Under Florida no-fault auto insurance rules, all drivers are legally required to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP covers 80% of all reasonable and necessary medical bills not exceeding $10,000 resulting from the accident, regardless of who caused the accident.
Other viable options for financial compensation are underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, if you have them. If the police were able to find the hit-and-run driver, you could likewise file a claim against them. However, you’ll only be allowed to sue the driver if your PIP-covered expenses exceed $10,000.
Also, you might be able to pursue a claim against any third party that might have contributed to the accident. Common third-party defendants or liable parties can include:
- Other drivers involved in the hit-and-run accident
- Vehicle manufacturers or repair shops
- Highway authorities, construction companies, and contractors
Speak to an Experienced Tampa Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Today
Even when the driver who caused the accident does not flee, seeking compensation could be an issue if your medical bills exceed your PIP coverage limit. Needless to say, the issue of compensation could be even more complicated in a hit-and-run accident that resulted in serious injuries. This is why legal assistance from an experienced Tampa hit-and-run driver is immensely crucial.
Your lawyer will be able to figure out all the recovery options that may apply to your case to ensure that you receive proper compensation for all your damages. Contact Tragos, Sartes & Tragos now to schedule a free evaluation of your case with our skilled Tampa hit-and-run accident lawyer by calling 813-223-6405 or contacting us online.