What do you do when you’re the victim of hit and run? It’s an unfortunate situation that can leave you feeling frustrated and angry. But what should you do?
Nearly 25% of crashes in Florida are hit and runs. It’s important to know what to do if you ever find yourself in this situation. Here are some helpful tips on how to move forward after being involved in a hit and run crash.
What’s a Hit and Run?
A hit and run is a type of traffic accident where someone leaves the accident scene. Most commonly, the person who leaves is the person responsible for the accident. They may not have insurance coverage, were distracted, or were under the influence at the time of the crash.
Hit-and-runs don’t just happen between two vehicles. They could include property damage, pedestrians, or even bike riders. Regardless of who or what is involved, it’s important to report accidents to the local authorities.
How Do I Report a Hit and Run?
If you find yourself in a situation where someone leaves the scene of an accident, call 911. Let the dispatcher on the phone know where you’re located and what kind of help you’ll need.
Check on everyone involved to see what kind of medical services are needed. Even if you don’t feel like you’re hurt right away, it’s a good idea to get checked out.
Provide your contact information to the officers. You should also provide any other information about the accident you have. Give them copies of your driver’s license, vehicle information, and auto insurance policy.
When Should I Report the Accident I Was In?
You want to report any accident as soon as possible. Florida law requires you to call 911 and report the accident right away. Staying at the scene of an accident until an officer arrives is also a requirement. Reporting it when it happens gives the police a better chance to find the person who fled.
Even if it seems like the damage is minor, you should still file official accident report. When you start repairing the property damage or vehicle, it could be more expensive than you expected. Or you may not have injuries right away, but something could develop later that requires medical attention.
Having proper documentation from the start can help with any issues that arise in the future. There’s also a statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit following your accident. If you need to take legal action, having the initial police report will be very important.
What If I Was the One At Fault?
If you’re the hit and run driver who was at fault for the accident, you’re responsible for stopping and providing your information to the other victim. Leaving the scene of an accident is not only illegal but can also add additional charges and fines.
Call the police as soon as it’s safe to do so. Whatever the reason for the car accident, it’s best to report it, along with any damage and injuries that resulted from the crash.
You may also want to seek legal advice if you left the scene of an accident. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and be sure you’re protected. Reach out to a Florida law firm like Denmon Pearlman for a free consultation to see how a lawyer can help you with your case.
Will Insurance Cover hit and run victim’s Injuries?
Every case and accident is different. Filing claims with the various insurance companies can be overwhelming. Consider contacting an attorney who’s familiar with the Florida laws and personal injury cases.
Health insurance may help with your medical bills resulting from the incident. It’s important to let your health care provider know that you’re receiving care because of an auto accident. Then they can file claims correctly with your insurance company.
Your car insurance company may also cover some of the damage done to your vehicle. If you have additional damage to other property, you may need to see if your renters or homeowner’s insurance will cover repairs and replacement of items. Having uninsured motorist coverage may help cover some of the costs incurred.
What If Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything?
After paying your deductibles and any co-pays or co-insurance, there could still be costs associated with your Florida hit and run car crash that the insurance company hasn’t covered. As the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you may want to take legal action to cover the medical expenses.
Having an attorney on your side to help guide you through the process of being compensated is vital. You need to make sure that you’re fairly compensated for any pain and suffering or damages.
What If They Can’t Find the Driver Who Caused My Accident?
Tracking down the hit and run drivers who left the scene of the accident can be challenging. If you weren’t able to get any information to identify the other driver, it can be nearly impossible to find the driver.
After your accident, try to gather as much information as you can to help identify the other driver. Note things like:
- type of car – make, model, and color
- license plate number
- The direction the vehicle went
- any information about the driver – gender, hair color, identifiable characteristics like glasses or facial hair
These things can help the police find the person responsible for your accident. Be sure to also ask any witnesses for information they might have as well.
Denmon Pearlman is a Florida-based law firm that offers a free, no-obligation, legal consultation to victims of hit and run accidents. As Florida law experts, we’ll walk you through what steps you need to take before taking legal action against the person responsible for your accident. We encourage you to ask questions about our process along the way and will work to help you get the compensation you deserve for your personal injury case. Schedule your free consultation to discuss your hit and run accident & get legal advice today.