Hit and Run Accidents: Protecting Your Rights When the Other Driver Flees
Hit-and-run accidents in Florida pose unique challenges for victims. Typically, if you suffer permanent injury in a car accident, you can bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, in a hit-and-run, you may never identify that driver. So, you must look to other sources for compensation – specifically, your own auto insurance policy. If you are a cyclist or pedestrian injured in a hit-and-run, then your situation may be even more complicated and stressful.
At Englander Peebles, our lawyers can help take your burdens off your shoulders. Contact us today at 954-500-4878 or via our online form to discuss your case in a free consultation in one of our three offices in Fort Lauderdale or Miami. We can go to work for you right away, handle every detail in your case and, ultimately, pursue the compensation you are due.
What Should You Do After A Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you should follow these steps:
Check That Everyone Is Safe
Your safety should be your first priority. In this sense, it is no different from any other kind of crash. Make sure that you and everyone else at the accident scene are safe. If you can, move your vehicle off the road in order to avoid the risk of a secondary accident.
You also need to call 911 as soon as possible. You will want the police to start an immediate investigation. They can start searching for the driver who fled the scene. If the police can locate the driver, it could save you some trouble down the road. Additionally, the police report will play an important role in your case.
Collect Evidence And Witness’ Contact Information
You should try to gather as much information from the scene as possible, including collecting any debris that may have come from the other car. You should take photos of your car and the surrounding crash area. Also, you should get the names and contact information of witnesses. It will be important for you to have an independent witness who can corroborate that another car hit you.
Don’t Go After The Hit-And-Run Driver
You should never attempt to go after the fleeing driver. The driver could be dangerous. If you get into a car chase, you could end up causing an accident that results in injuries to you and may subject you to liability.
Seek Medical Attention
After any type of accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. You want to ensure that you have timely documentation of your injuries. If you wait too long to see a doctor, it could impact your ability to collect compensation. In fact, you must get medical treatment within 14 days after your crash or your insurer could deny any claim that you file for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.
Talk To A Lawyer, And Report The Accident To Your Insurance Company
Finally, you will need to report your accident to your insurance company. Before you talk with the insurer, however, you should talk with an attorney from Englander Peebles. We can help you deal with the insurance company while you focus on your physical recovery.
Can You File A Claim For Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Florida, several types of insurance could provide you with compensation for your injuries, such as uninsured motorist coverage. To recover compensation, you will need to establish that another driver caused the accident.
What Can Bicyclists And Pedestrians Do After Hit-And-Run Accidents?
For instance, you may be able to file a PIP benefits claim. These benefits can be helpful, but again, they are limited. You may want to look into filing an uninsured motorist claim as well.
If you have no insurance, then you may consider filing a claim with Florida’s Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance Program. This program can provide funds that will help you deal with the medical costs, lost wages and other economic losses brought on by a hit-and-run accident. It can also provide disability compensation if you have suffered permanent impairment. We can provide information to you about this program, or you can go directly to the Florida Bureau of Victim Compensation.
Our Lawyers Are Ready To Help You
Many people think that their insurance companies will readily provide the compensation they need after hit-and-run crashes. But all too often, this is not the case. Insurance companies want to save money by denying claims or paying as little as they can. So, when you file a claim after a hit-and-run crash, you may encounter much more resistance than you anticipated. It can feel like you’re being victimized a second time.
For this reason, you should seek help as early as possible from the experienced Fort Lauderdale hit-and-run accident lawyers at Englander Peebles. Insurance companies know that we prepare cases for trial and that we will be ready to go to court if that’s what it takes to fight for the compensation that our clients deserve. Our goal will be to identify all sources of compensation available to you and seek the maximum amount for your injuries and other losses.