A hit-and-run accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. You’re left with a damaged vehicle, mounting medical bills, and often no one to hold responsible. If you’re a victim of a hit-and-run incident, your ability to pursue damages depends on the insurance coverages you have in place.
The key coverage to consider is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM). Additionally, your health insurance and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage may provide limited coverage for medical bills, regardless of fault. An experienced Florida car accident lawyer can help you explore the insurance coverages that can protect your rights.
What Exactly Is a Hit and Run Accident?
A hit-and-run accident is a situation in which one party involved in a crash, typically the at-fault driver, flees the scene without identifying themselves or providing aid to the other party. In Florida, this type of incident is not only dangerous but also illegal.
Hit and Run accidents can encompass various scenarios, including:
- Striking a Parked Vehicle. You return to where you parked your vehicle, only to find it damaged with no note from the responsible party.
- Collisions on the Road. Another vehicle collides with yours, causing damage, but the driver quickly leaves the scene.
- Pedestrian or Bicycle Accidents. Hit and Runs are not limited to car-to-car incidents. A driver might strike a pedestrian or cyclist and leave without stopping.
The implications of a hit and run are significant. It can leave you dealing with property damage, medical bills, and the frustration of not knowing who to hold accountable. In Florida, understanding your rights and the legal steps to take is essential when faced with such a situation.
How to Sue for Damages for a Hit and Run?
Being the victim of a hit-and-run accident can be a stressful and frustrating experience. However, taking the right steps can help protect your rights and improve your chances of seeking compensation for the damages you’ve incurred. Here are the necessary steps to consider:
Ensure Your Safety and Report the Incident
The first and most critical step is to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved in the accident. If necessary, seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 or contact the local authorities, such as the police, to report the Hit and Run. They can initiate an investigation and file a police report. This report is a vital piece of evidence when pursuing a claim.
Document the Scene and Speak to Witnesses
If it’s safe to do so, gather evidence from the scene. That includes taking photographs of your vehicle’s damage, the accident location, and any visible identifying information about the other vehicle (such as a license plate number). If there were any witnesses to the accident, try to obtain their contact information. Their statements could be valuable when determining fault.
Consult an Attorney
Seeking legal counsel is crucial, especially in Hit and Run cases. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process, help you understand your rights, and assist in identifying and pursuing potential sources of compensation.
Who Pays for My Medical Bills After a Hit and Run Accident in Florida?
Medical bills can quickly pile up after a Hit and Run accident, leaving victims concerned about how they will cover these expenses.
In Florida, there are a few potential sources that may help you pay for your medical bills:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage can help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and related expenses up to the policy limit.
- Health Insurance. If you have health insurance, it can cover a portion of your medical expenses.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If you carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, it can help cover medical bills when the at-fault driver is unknown (as is often the case in hit-and-run accidents).
- Seeking Compensation Through a Lawsuit. If none of the above options provide adequate coverage, you may need to pursue a legal claim against the hit-and-run driver.
Navigating the various sources of compensation for medical bills can be complex, particularly in a hit-and-run case. Consulting an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses.
What Is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage?
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD)
UMPD coverage steps in when the at-fault driver lacks Insurance. In the case of a hit-and-run accident, where the driver is unknown or underinsured, UMPD can be invaluable. It helps cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (UNDUMPD)
If the at-fault driver has Insurance, but their policy limits are insufficient to cover your property damage, underinsured motorist property damage (UNDUMPD) coverage can fill the gap. That is particularly useful when you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have adequate liability coverage.
It’s important to understand the limits and terms of your UMPD or UNDUMPD coverage. That can vary based on your policy and insurer. While this coverage can be immensely helpful in hit-and-run situations, it’s essential to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the claims process and ensure you receive fair compensation.
How to Determine Fault in a Hit and Run Accident?
Determining fault in a hit-and-run accident can be a complex and challenging task. After all, if the responsible driver fled the scene, there may be limited evidence and witnesses to identify them. Here are the key steps involved in establishing fault in a Hit and Run scenario:
- Police Report. After a hit-and-run accident, it’s crucial to report the incident to the police immediately.
- Eyewitnesses. If there were any eyewitnesses to the accident, their statements can be instrumental in determining fault.
- Surveillance Cameras. The proliferation of surveillance cameras on public roads and in businesses can provide valuable footage of the accident.
Remember that a skilled attorney with experience in hit-and-run cases can guide you through this process and work to identify the responsible party. They will also help you understand your legal rights and the compensation you may be entitled to.
Who Can Answer My Questions About a Hit and Run Accident in Florida?
A skilled personal injury attorney is your most valuable resource when it comes to hit-and-run accidents. They can help you understand your legal rights, the steps to take, and the compensation you may be entitled to. A knowledgeable attorney will work to identify the at-fault party and guide you through the legal process.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Florida, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Our dedicated team of experienced attorneys is here to provide the guidance and support you require during this challenging time. Contact Fasig | Brooks for a free consultation today.