What if you’re the victim in a Florida hit and run accident?

by Jan 30, 2020Auto Accident, Car Accidents, Hit and Run Accident

What if you’re the victim in a Florida hit and run accident?

by Jan 30, 2020Auto Accident, Car Accidents, Hit and Run Accident

What to do if you're the victim in a Florida hit and run accident
What to do if you're the victim in a Florida hit and run accident

What to Do If You Are A Victim in a Florida Hit and Run Accident

Being in a car accident can be a frightening, if not a traumatizing experience. Unfortunately, these difficult situations can be worsened by a motorist who flees the scene of an accident. Leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a hit and run, is a serious offense in the state of Florida. Those who commit this active negligence could face serious fines and even years of jail time. While these penalties deter many people from committing a hit and run, there are still numerous victims of hit and run auto collisions every year in the state of Florida. Being a victim of a Florida hit and run accident may feel overwhelming and hopeless to many people. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from these types of accidents. If you or a loved one have been involved in this type of wreck it is strongly advised to contact a hit and run accident lawyer as soon as possible to assist you through this difficult time.

What Qualifies as a Hit and Run in the State of Florida?

In the state of Florida, the severity of penalties for a hit and run is dependent upon the type of damage caused. Many hit and run collisions only result in property damage. These types of accidents carry the lightest penalty. However, if a crash causes injury or death, the penalties for leaving the scene become quite severe and carry long-lasting consequences for the motorist who does not stay at the scene. If a motorist does not leave the scene of the crash but fails to fulfill their additional obligations, they may also be considered to have committed a hit and run.

In addition to remaining at the site of the wreck, Florida drivers have additional responsibilities when a collision occurs. A driver must also provide his or her name, insurance information, contact information, and driver’s license to police officers and the parties involved. A driver involved in a collision is also expected to provide reasonable aid to those involved in the wreck. Reasonable aid may include calling 911 or assisting an injured person to the best of one’s ability. If a driver does not comply with these guidelines and responsibilities before leaving the scene of an accident, they have committed a hit-and-run violation.

If any of the above circumstances happen to you or a loved one, you are the victim of a Florida hit and run accident. Protect yourself from irresponsible motorists by following these tips when involved in a hit and run accident:

Above All Else, Consider Your Safety First

Many people experience heightened emotions during an accident. However, it is crucial to consider the safety of yourself and your passengers first. Under no circumstances is it advisable to pursue a driver who has left the scene of an accident. The consequences of following a hit and run driver can be extremely dangerous. Following the accident, your first concern should be to ensure the safety of everyone in your vehicle. Check to see if you or anyone in your party has sustained injuries from the collision. If your vehicle is in an area with heavy traffic, move your vehicle away from ongoing traffic, when possible. Next, call the police as soon as possible to report the hit and run incident. While these steps may not feel very proactive, they are crucial in securing the safety of you and your passengers in the aftermath of a collision.

Record as Much Information as Possible

More often than not, being involved in a car accident can be disorienting. Despite the initial shock of being in a collision, it is extremely important to record as much information as possible, especially if it is a Florida hit and run accident. For example, write down a description of the vehicle including make, model, color, and license plate number if you are able to. Look over the scene of the accident for any pieces of the other vehicle that may have been left behind. Examples of “pieces left behind” may include a mirror, broken taillight, or even the paint from the other vehicle on your car. Another option is to ask bystanders for details they may have witnessed. Many times, witnesses are more than happy to assist those who are victims of hit and run accidents. Do not be afraid to ask the witnesses for their contact information. If the wreck occurred near any business establishments, politely ask for security footage that may have recorded the incident. Typically, the police officer who arrives at the scene will also look for these same clues when investigating a hit and run occurrence. However, any and all available information can be helpful in aiding your chances for relief after a hit and run accident.

Please Purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If you are injured in Florida due to the negligence of a hit and run motorist, you can still make a financial recovery for your injuries, but only if you have Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM coverage) on your automobile insurance policy. This coverage allows you to bring a claim on your own automobile insurance policy for injuries sustained in this type of crash. UM coverage is the only true form of insurance that will protect you and anyone in your car when the hit and run crash results in an injury. If you do not have UM coverage, you will not be able to make a financial recovery if the hit and run driver is never found. It is essential that you contact your car insurance agent or car insurance company and demand that UM coverage be added to your automobile policy.

Contact the Bodden and Bennett Law Group Today

Perhaps the most important step you can take when you are a victim of a hit and run accident in the state of Florida is to contact an experienced and competent personal injury attorney. Bodden and Bennett Law Group is a premier personal injury law firm in South Florida. With years of experience and multicultural staff on board, Bodden & Bennett is well equipped to meet your needs when involved in a Florida hit and run accident.

We understand that these are often emotionally and financially difficult situations for the victims and only operate on a contingency basis. This means that you are charged no fee unless money is recovered for your specific case. From the moment your wreck occurs, you can rest assured that Bodden & Bennett will competently handle negotiations with insurance companies and the parties involved to help you reach the compensation you deserve. We work on each case with determination and dedication to be one of the most successful personal injury attorneys in Florida. We have recovered over $15 million for our past clients. Let us assist you as your hit and run accident lawyer. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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