Have you been in a hit and run accident? Expert car accident attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo can help you seek recovery for injuries and damages caused by a driver who fled the scene.
In recent years, Florida’s hit and run problem has gone from bad to worse. Though a majority of hit and run accidents result in property damage only, Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that more than 180 people were killed in hit and run crashes in 2015.
Each year, the percentage of hit and run crashes remains steady or increases – proving that the problem of people fleeing the scene is getting worse.
If you were involved in a hit and run accident, you may be scared and wondering what your options are for receiving financial reimbursement for injuries and damages if the responsible party is not found. We can help. At Lorenzo & Lorenzo, our highly skilled team of expert auto accident attorneys , specializing in hit and run cases, is ready to fight for justice in your case.
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Common Reasons Why Drivers Leave the Accident Scene
Who knows what goes through the mind of someone guilty of fleeing the scene of an accident. Throughout our years of experience handling hit and run accident cases in Tampa, we have found that drivers who choose not to stop commonly do so because of the following reasons:
- The driver was driving drunk , or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- The driver did not have a valid driver’s license
- The driver was uninsured
- The driver was afraid to go to jail
- The driver was unsure if the collision occurred
- The driver had road rage
Of course, none of these reasons are valid excuses for leaving the scene of an accident, and they certainly don’t help your state of mind when you’re left wondering who will compensate you for your damages and injuries. An experienced hit and run accident lawyer, however, may be able to help you pursue compensation even in cases when the other driver isn’t found.
What to Do Following a Hit and Run Accident
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being a victim of a hit and run, the very first thing you should do is check yourself for injuries. Your health and safety are of the utmost importance, so be sure to call an ambulance and law enforcement (or have someone nearby call if you are unable to).
Once it is safe to do so and your medical needs have been taken care of, gather as much evidence as you can and tell the police everything you remember about the accident. Try to focus on the make, model and color of the car that hit you, as well as a description of the driver and the license plate information if you were able to see it. Any details, even if they seem unimportant, may be crucial to finding the driver who hit you.
If possible, collect the names and contact information of eyewitnesses before leaving the accident scene. Prior to speaking with an insurance adjustor, it is important that you contact a local hit and run accident attorney to discuss your legal right to recovery compensation.
Hit and Run Accidents Involving Pedestrians
Hit and runs are especially common in collisions between a vehicle and a pedestrian. In fact, in approximately 1 in 4 pedestrian crashes, the driver flees the scene. Many of these incidents result in serious bodily injury or even the death of the pedestrian. If you were injured in a pedestrian-vehicle collision, or lost a family member in one of these devastating accidents, consult a pedestrian accident attorney immediately to discuss your legal options.
Ask an Expert in Florida Personal Injury & Auto Accident Law
At Lorenzo & Lorenzo, our seasoned auto accident attorneys will aggressively pursue fair compensation for your losses by taking the time to listen to your hit and run claim, building a strong case, negotiating with insurance companies and, if necessary, fighting for your rights in court. Team up with one of the best personal injury teams in Tampa. We offer free consultations and 24/7 availability to answer all of your questions.
How to Obtain Compensation in Hit and Run Injury Cases
According to Florida law, all drivers involved in an accident resulting in injury or death MUST immediately stop – even if they weren’t responsible for causing the collision. One common question people have is: “How can hit and run accident victims obtain compensation if the person responsible disobeyed the law and fled the scene?”
If the driver is located, their insurance should pay for your injuries or damages, including medical bills, property loss, lost income, and other damages.
However, even if the driver is not located, you may still be entitled to compensation from your own insurance company through Florida’s uninsured motorist laws.
Florida auto insurance policies commonly offer coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers. This coverage can often be applied to hit and run accidents; however, your insurer may try to get away with paying the least amount possible. It is important that you fully understand your insurance policy and talk to a skilled personal injury attorney before negotiating a settlement amount with your adjustor.