Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and run drivers exhibit an almost unfathomable disregard for the well-being of their fellow motorists. And while it may seem as though hit and run accidents would be rare, that isn’t the case. In fact, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were nearly 110,000 Florida hit and run accidents in 2020, representing a 19 percent increase from the year prior.
Hit and run accidents raise unique concerns due to the fact that the at-fault party cannot be identified. Therefore, victims cannot file a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy, meaning they will need to look for other policies that may cover their expenses. At the Blakeley Law Firm, P.A., our dedicated Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers have over two decades of experience recovering fair compensation on behalf of accident victims. We understand where to look for insurance coverage and can effectively negotiate with insurance companies to ensure our clients are fairly compensated for what they’ve been through.Florida’s Hit and Run Accident Laws
Under Florida law, all drivers have a legal obligation to remain at the scene of an accident and provide their information to both law enforcement and others involved in the collision. Additionally, anyone involved in an accident has a duty to provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the collision. This includes calling 911 to report the accident and transporting an accident victim to the hospital, if necessary.Why Are Hit and Run Accidents So Common?
There is a multitude of reasons why hit and run accidents are so common, although none of them justify leaving the scene of an accident. In fact, one study found that the more at fault a driver thinks they are, the more likely they are to flee the scene.
For example, drivers may flee an accident scene for any of the following reasons:
- A driver has a warrant for their arrest;
- A driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs;
- A driver didn’t have car insurance; and
- A driver knows they were at fault for the collision.
After most accidents, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, in the case of a hit and run accident, the identity of the at-fault driver is unknown, so filing a claim with their insurance company is an impossibility. This means that accident victims must find an alternate course of insurance coverage.
Typically, there are a few different policies that could cover a hit and run accident. The primary source of coverage is typically the victim’s own PIP insurance. However, PIP coverage is limited to $10,000 and only covers 80% of your accident-related expenses. Most accident victims find that this coverage is far insufficient to cover all their expenses.
If you have uninsured motorist protection, that insurance will kick in to cover your accident-related expenses. You may also be able to tap into your health insurance policy.
Of course, if you learn information about the hit and run driver before your claim is finalized, you can subsequently file a claim with their insurance company.Were You Injured in a Hit and Run Accident?
If you or a loved one recently suffered serious injuries in a hit and run accident, it is important to understand which insurance policies could cover your expenses. Otherwise, you could be on the hook for your accident-related expenses. At the Blakeley Law Firm, P.A., we understand your frustration and don’t think it’s fair that accident victims could potentially be responsible for an accident they didn’t cause. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers have over 20 years of experience investigating hit and run accidents, negotiating with insurance companies, and securing fair damages awards for our clients. To learn more, and to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer, call (800) 602-5000. You can also reach us through our online contact form. Calling is free, and we will not collect any fee for our services unless we can connect you with compensation.
The Blakeley Law Firm, P.A., has conveniently located offices in Miami Gardens, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Jacksonville.