Hit & Run Attorneys
Imagine being involved in a car accident in which great bodily injury is suffered; it is often not an experience many individuals wish to imagine. Now, imagine being involved in a car accident at the fault of another individual who fled the scene of the accident. This unfortunate scenario is the reality of many Floridians on a daily basis. In order to minimize damage in the event of a hit-and-run, here is what is important to know.
Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident
No matter which party is at fault, it is monumentally important to never leave the scene of the accident. In fact, in the state of the Florida, a hit-and-run offense can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor – the determining factors being the circumstance of the accident and injuries suffered. If charged as a second-degree misdemeanor, the punishment could range from a $500 fine and up to 60 days in the county jail. If charged as a third-degree felony, punishment could range from a $5,000 fine to 5 years in prison.
However, if the accident resulted in the death of a party, it will be charged as a first-degree felony with a punishment range from $10,000 fine to up to 30 years in prison. To reiterate, if involved in an accident, never leave the scene of the accident.
If the individual who hit the vehicle leaves the scene of the collision, the injured party must think quickly. For example, do not move the vehicles until the license plate is captured. It is important to be aware of the environment and people surrounding the accident. Witnesses to the collision may be questioned later on to verify the identity the individual who run from the accident. As will be mentioned below, evidence is key in determining a positive outcome in this case.
Check for Injuries
As in every collision, the initial step to take following a hit-and-run accident is for all involved parties to check for any injuries. If emergency medical attention is needed, the injured party should be taken to the nearest hospital immediately. However, if there is no need for immediate medical attention, all involved parties should still seek medical attention and be evaluated by a physician. Many injuries that could be detrimental to one’s health could become apparent weeks, and even months, after the accident. The point of dispute in most personal injury claims is determining what injuries were incurred, what caused the injuries, and how much monetary damage was incurred due to the injuries. Therefore, seeking medical attention and collecting documents will highly influential in determining the outcome of the claim.
Call the Police
After the need for medical attention is determined, call local law enforcement. As mentioned above, collecting the proper evidence is very important in a hit and run claim. Many individuals who hit another vehicle and run from the scene of the accident can escape liability solely due to the fact of lack of evidence. A police officer will be able to take the injured party’s statement and produce a police report – a non-biased recollection of events which could be later used as evidence.
Call the Insurance Provider
When the police report is obtained, the next step will be to contact the insurance provider for the vehicle. Many insurance providers offer coverage for hit-and-run incidents; however, the problem is proving to the insurance company that it was in fact a hit-and-run at no fault of the insured party. Before arguing with an adjuster, call an experienced hit-and-run attorney who will know exactly how to approach the situation and aggressively fight to ensure the best possible outcome for the claim.
Hit & Run Lawyer FAQ
How much does a hit and run lawyer cost?
Our Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Typically this means that you pay nothing unless you win, and you can hire a car accident attorney for zero up front fees.
Why do I need a car accident attorney?
An experienced car accident attorney can conduct an investigation to determine who is at fault for your injuries and help you recover a monetary award from the at fault parties in court.
How much is my hit and run lawsuit worth?
Depending on the severity of your injuries, and whether or not you have any percentage of fault in the accident, your monetary damages recovered could be substantial. Call a lawyer for more info and a case evaluation.