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What is considered a hit and run accident?

A hit and run is when one vehicle strikes another vehicle or person, then leaves the scene of the accident.

Individuals may commit a hit and run for a variety of reasons: embarrassment, they are driving illegally or in an impaired state, want to avoid the police, are afraid of getting in trouble, or they are in a rush and “don’t have time to stop”.

As Florida hit and run car accident lawyers, we’ve heard all of the excuses. They won’t stop us from pursuing damages for our client who was injured by their actions.

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How a Florida Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Will Help

If you have been injured in a hit and run car accident in Florida, you may be entitled to compensation under Florida law. It is challenging to pursue an individual who fled the scene of their crime.

However, an expert Florida hit and run attorney can assist you in recovering damages. They know how to find the perpetrator using street cameras and collected evidence. They will work to get you maximum compensation, without taking a penny from you until they’ve won your case.

Get help simplifying a complicated car accident case with the assistance of a hit and run lawyer. Call today for a quote.

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, our lawyers will ensure you get the best service possible to help you win your case.

What to Do In a Hit and Run Accident

If you were involved in a car accident and see one party attempting to leave the scene, do not chase after them. It is dangerous to pursue a driver on your own.

Instead, attempt to gather as much information about the vehicle as possible. Write down the make and model, the license plate number, and any other descriptive details of the car. Write down a profile of the driver from what you remember.

Canvas witnesses to see if they have any additional information. Collect all of their names and addresses, as you may need them to be witnesses after the fact when the claim goes to trial.

Call the police and provide the details. Ask witnesses to stay behind for the police. Show them the scene of the accident, the damage done to your vehicle, and give a statement for their report.

Afterward, call a Florida hit-and-run car accident lawyer to help you progress with your legal claim for damages.

How to Prove a Hit-and-Run Accident

You may feel the need to prove who hit your car; however, this isn’t strictly necessary for hit and run claims. Initially, you should do your best to try and identify who was at fault. However, if the police cannot determine the perpetrator after an investigation, you will need to handle the accident without an individual clearly at fault.

In this case, you can use your uninsured motorist coverage from your car insurance policy. It will cover situations where you don’t know who hit your car.

What insurance covers a hit and run accident?

Insurance policies include sections that will cover hit and run accidents. These are:

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage, which will cover the cost of repairs for your vehicle. This policy can cover hit and runs, but it varies depending on your insurance company. You will need to review your policy beforehand.
  • Collision coverage. This policy will help you repair the damage done to your vehicle. However, you will need to pay a deductible out of pocket for this repair.
  • Personal injury protection will help pay for your injuries if you are injured in a hit and run. Personal injury protection insurance is required in Florida up to $10,000.

It is possible to combine policies to cover your hit and run damages, both yours and your vehicle’s. Speak with your insurance provider about what your policy covers. If your insurance company refuses to pay out what you’re owed, contact a Florida hit and run car accident lawyer for assistance collecting your damages.

Who pays in a hit and run accident?

Typically, the driver at fault will pay for the damages in a car accident. While you have to prove fault, you can prove it more easily since you know who the other individual is. In the case of hit and run car accidents, you usually do not know who the other driver is. It makes it far more complicated to collect damages.

Luckily, Florida is a “no-fault” state, so you do not have to identify the driver. You can collect compensation from your insurance company to cover the damages. Your insurance will only cover the personal injury damages that you suffered. If you need to pay to repair your vehicle or to cover any non-economic damages, you will need to use your uninsured motorist coverage.

If the at-fault driver is found, you can take them to court to find them liable to pay for your damages after a hit and run accident. A Florida hit and run car accident lawyer can assist you with this process.

Can you sue for a hit and run accident?

In short, yes, you can sue for a hit and run. As a no-fault state, Florida requires drivers to use their own personal injury coverage under their car insurance to pay for their economic damages. These are limited to damages to your person, not to your property.

However, sideswipe car accidents can damage more than your body – they can damage your vehicle and your emotional wellbeing.

To recover damages for the accident, you will have to 1) find the driver through investigation, or 2) investigate other parties who could be at fault.

These other parties include:

  • Employers of truck drivers
  • Bartenders who may have served the individual
  • Mechanics installing faulty parts
  • Other drivers in the collision
  • Highway designers for traffic patterns that led to the accident
  • Government bodies for poor roadways