Tampa And Sarasota Hit-and-Run Accident Attorneys
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles estimates that the state saw over 105,000 hit-and-run collisions in 2019. Out of all negligence that drivers might show in crashes, this type is particularly distressing, as the liable driver fled the scene without attending to anyone’s well-being.
A hit-and-run situation can result in both civil legal action against the liable driver and criminal charges, and in Florida, it’s a particularly serious charge. Leaving a crash scene when someone suffered injuries is a felony offense that can result in up to five years in prison and revocation of a driver’s license.
But does a criminal case help you as the accident victim? How can you even begin to receive compensation for your losses? Find out what to do after a hit-and-run crash and why our experienced Tampa and Sarasota hit-and-run accident attorneys will be your best resource for answering such questions.
What To Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Recovering from the aftermath of any accident is already difficult, but, unfortunately, the liable driver fleeing the scene makes things more complicated. That said, there are a few steps you should keep in mind in the immediate wake of a hit-and-run accident:
- Assess The Damage: Check for any serious injuries to you or anyone else. If you’re able, call 911 to have first responders attend to those injuries ASAP.
- Do Not Follow The Fleeing Driver: That may sound counterintuitive on paper, but even if you still have a working vehicle, don’t follow the liable driver. You’re putting yourself in further harm’s way, and leaving the scene will just complicate things even further for you and investigators.
- Retain As Much Information As Possible: Even if you can’t identify the license plate number (which you should still try to do), other identifiable features will be helpful. These include color, headlamps, and make and model of the car, as well as any identifying characteristics about the liable driver or the direction they went.
- Speak To Witnesses: If it won’t compromise your safety, speak to any witnesses who saw the crash, if possible. Retain their contact info for future reference.
- Seek Medical Attention: You and any other victim’s well-being should be the first priority in this situation, so have first responders administer care ASAP.
Above all else, prioritize safety. The paths toward justice and due process can be pursued later down the line.
Can You Get Compensation For a Hit-and-Run?
Florida remains a no-fault car insurance state, which means that you must first turn to your own insurance coverage first following injuries from a crash. Your personal injury protection (PIP) policy should cover the costs of your injuries regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
However, PIP policies are often inadequate to cover the costs of most car accident injuries. If your injuries are considered particularly serious under the law, you then have the right to file against the at-fault driver. If you cannot locate the driver who fled - or if an identified driver fled because they did not have insurance - you can file a claim with your own uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) policy.
Even filing claims with your PIP or UM insurance can be a complicated process, and a hit-and-run attorney can help.
Speak with Our Sarasota and Tampa Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers
Across Tampa and Sarasota, our winning team has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, including car accident victims. If you have suffered injuries and you’d like to learn more about how we can help, we encourage you to speak with us directly by calling our Tampa office (813-530-1000), Sarasota office (941-877-5800), or by visiting our contact page to schedule a free consultation.