A hit and run accident is defined as an accident caused by an at fault driver who did not wait to see what damage or injuries were done to the driver or whatever they hit. A person causes an accident and flees the scene. The injured parties of hit and run accidents are the ones that are put in difficult situations because they do not know who hit them. Sometimes law enforcement will investigate, try to find the driver, and see if they can attach it to their case. A lot of times that happens by catching a license plate number or description of the car’s driver. Call an accomplished St. Petersburg car accident lawyer for more information.
Common Patterns in Hit and Run Accidents in St. Petersburg
One common fact pattern is somebody driving negligently or under the influence of alcohol, gets into a car accident, and does not stop to see who was hurt or what damage was done to the property of the car they hit. Then they flee the scene and the victim has to call the police to investigate and find that at fault driver.
One of the most difficult aspects in a hit and run accident is trying to find the at-fault party to see if they have insurance and if they have assets that a person can collect to make sure they pay for the injuries they caused.
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Recoverable Damages in Hit and Run Case
In a hit and run case in St. Petersburg, the recoverable damages include past medical bills, future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages in the past, lost future capacity to earn, lost of consortium for a spouse or a child, and any other compensatory damages and money the person has to spend as a result of the accident. It could be related to healing, going to get pain pills from the doctor, or anything that can be included as damage.
Punitive damages can be tied to hit and run accidents in two ways. If a person has a DUI accident, meaning the person that hit and run was under the influence of alcohol, there are statutory punitive damages that come along with that. Also, in a hit and run accident, a person can prove reckless or wanton disregard for the safety of others because the person did not stop to see if the person they hit was okay. Many times a person can attach punitive damages to that claim even if the person was not drunk, but they hit and run.
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Steps After Accident
The first step a person should take if involved in a hit and run car accident in St. Petersburg is to seek medical treatment immediately. They should call an ambulance and call the police so they can be treated at the scene and law enforcement can do an investigation to try to figure out who is responsible for the hit and run.
The next step a person should make is to call an attorney to make sure that their rights are protected against any insurance companies or law enforcement investigations. They can analyze and assist law enforcement in any way that they can and keep track of all the medical bills, medical records, and injuries from the time of the accident to the time of settlement.
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Ways an Attorney Can Help
An attorney can make sure that they investigate the case from the beginning, protect the person’s rights throughout the process, and make sure the person does not do anything that the insurance company can use against them in the future. An attorney can hire an investigator, take photographs of the scene of the accident, interview any witnesses that may have been around the accident, and order the insurance policies for all the drivers involved.
They can help law enforcement investigate a hit and run to try to find out who the driver was, run license plate number and background checks on any names of people that they think were the at fault driver, order all medical records and medical bills, and keep track of them to analyze them when putting together a demand package to send to the insurance company. Overall, they take care of the person by handling the stress of the logistics of the case while the person is worrying about treating from the medical doctor to attend to their injuries as a result of the accident.
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