In Florida, hit-and-run crashes are disturbingly common events. Statistics indicate that about one in four collisions in the Sunshine State involves a driver who flees the scene of the crash. Nationally, Florida ranks third in terms of deadly hit-and-run collisions. Statistics indicate that in 2019, there were 105,000 hit-and-runs in Florida alone.
Minor hit-and-run crashes may involve property damage and no injuries. Of course, even in those cases, the consequences are frustrating for the driver who has to pay for the damage. In more distressing cases, the driver will injure a person or people and then leave the harmed individuals on the road. Sadly, these crashes can turn deadly, especially when the victim is a pedestrian or person on a bike.
If you were injured in a crash caused by a hit-and-run driver, the emotional toll and confusion caused by that driver’s wrongful actions are likely devastating. If that driver is apprehended, then they will face criminal charges for their decision to leave the scene. However, they should also be compensating the person or people they injured. If a hit-and-run driver caused you or your loved ones harm, and you still do not know who that driver is, you likely have questions regarding your legal options for recovering the compensation to which you are entitled. It is important to know that you do have options. Call the Tampa hit & run attorneys at the Durham Law Group today at 813-333-6250 to learn more about how we can help you.
What to Do if a Driver Flees the Scene
The moments immediately after a car accident are often disorienting. If you are in a crash and the driver flees, it is important to get as much information as possible. Of course, if you suffered injuries, seek medical attention right away. If you can, write down any details regarding the other driver or their vehicle, such as the color, make, model, or license plate number. If witnesses are on the scene, get their information as well. And, of course, call the police to report the incident. Any details that you can collect will help your case moving forward.
If you think you might have suffered injuries, see a medical professional right away. Some injuries following a car crash might not appear until later. The longer you wait to get checked out, the harder time you will have to link your injuries to the crash. Plus, adrenaline and nerves following an incident as traumatizing as a car crash can mask injuries that you may have suffered. When in doubt, see a doctor.
Finding a Hit-and-Run Driver in Tampa
Following a hit-and-run crash, police will likely carry out an investigation aimed at identifying the driver involved. More resources will often go toward investigations into serious hit-and-runs in which victims sustained severe injuries or died as a result of the crash. While locating a driver may seem hopeless after the fact, these criminals frequently leave evidence behind. Physical evidence might be found at the scene, including parts of the vehicle. Witnesses might have seen the car and can provide descriptions. Local security cameras could have also caught the vehicle as the driver attempted to escape the scene. Sometimes, the car is damaged, and the police will be able to identify it or learn that it has been taken to a nearby repair shop.
If you were injured in a hit-and-run crash, your attorney could help ensure that efforts to identify the involved driver are thoroughly completed. Not only will finding that individual allow the justice system to enact penalties on the driver, but it will allow you the opportunity to pursue a claim against the person who caused your injuries.
When the Driver is Not Identified
In some cases, the driver is never identified or apprehended. In such situations, pursuing a claim against the responsible party is not an option. However, you are not entirely out of luck. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage, that policy can be used to cover your injuries. You can make a claim with your insurance company that will treat the hit-and-run driver as a driver who simply lacked the legally required car insurance. When filing these claims, your insurance company will effectively step into the role of the other driver. You will have to prove your damages and the other driver’s liability in order to collect. Hiring an attorney can help you ensure that the insurer treats you fairly and offers you the full amount of compensation owed based on your damages. The available coverage will depend on your policy in such cases.
Of course, as a no-fault state, Florida drivers also carry Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance. Your PIP insurance will also cover some of your injuries, but in many cases, it will fall short of fully compensating you. The uninsured motorist policy covers losses not included in PIP insurance policies, such as pain and suffering and property damage.
To learn more about your options for recovering damages after a hit-and-run crash in Florida, contact a Tampa, personal injury attorney.
Call the Durham Law Group Today After a Hit & Run Car Accident in Tampa
At the Durham Law Group, our experienced Tampa-based attorneys understand how destructive a car crash can be to a person’s life. The compensation that is available to you can help you recover from your injuries and focus on getting better. Call us at 813-333-6250 to discuss your claim.