Hit and Run Accidents

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley
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Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley

Under Florida law, all drivers are required to stop at the scene when they are involved in an accident. Unfortunately, despite the criminal penalties for “leaving the scene of an accident,” hit and run accidents are common, and accident victims are often left wondering how they will recover their repair bills, medical expenses and other losses.

If you were involved in a hit and run, an experienced car accident lawyer can review the options available to you for recovering financial compensation. It may be possible to identify the driver who hit you, you may be able to collect payment under your own (or a family member’s) insurance policy, or a third party may be liable for your accident-related losses.

THREE WAYS TO SECURE FINANCIAL COMPENSATION AFTER A HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT IN FLORIDA

1. IDENTIFYING THE HIT AND RUN DRIVER

Even if the driver who hit you fled the scene of the accident, it still may be possible to identify him or her through various different means. If you can identify the driver, then you can pursue a claim against his or her insurance company just as you would after an ordinary accident.

If you are able to recollect any information about the vehicle that hit you – make, model, color or license plate – this could help in identifying the driver who is liable for your injuries. If not, that’s okay. Our legal team can seek to obtain witness statements, camera footage, police reports and any other available information that we can use to pursue a claim for compensation.

2. COLLECTING UNDER YOUR OWN INSURANCE POLICY

If it is not possible to identify the hit and run driver, then you may be able to collect compensation under your own auto insurance policy. For insurance purposes, hit and run accident cases are treated similarly to uninsured motorist claims. This means that you may be entitled to payment under your:

  • Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage

Under Florida law, auto insurance companies are legally required to offer “stacking” of certain types of coverage. This means that, if you have UM coverage for multiple vehicles and your policy includes stacking, you may be able to combine the policy limits for each of your vehicles in order to enhance the coverage for your hit and run accident claim.

3. PURSUING A THIRD-PARTY CLAIM FOR LIABILITY

A third option for seeking financial compensation after a hit and run accident is to pursue a claim against a third party that was partially responsible for your accident. Common third-party claims in hit and run accident cases include:

  • Claims against other drivers involved in the accident
  • Claims against repair shops and vehicle manufacturers
  • Claims against highway authorities, contractors and construction companies

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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