Hit-and-Run Accidents Reach Epidemic Proportion in South Florida – How You Can Protect Your Legal Rights Following a Hit-and-Run Accident
The month of February marked Hit-and-Run Awareness Month where Florida Highway Patrol sought to remind all drivers of the importance of staying at the scene of an accident.
“This is a significant problem throughout the State of Florida. It has arisen to an epidemic proportion in Miami-Dade County,” said FHP Maj. Chris Dellapietra.
For those who are victims of a hit and run accident, the whole experience can bring out a range of emotions, leaving those injured angered and worried about how they will protect themselves and receive compensation for any damages and injuries sustained. Certain actions can help protect you if you find yourself or a loved one the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
What Is a Hit-and-Run?
A hit-and-run accident occurs any time a driver intentionally leaves the scene of an accident without providing his or her contact information. This can happen when a car hits another car, motorcyclist, bicyclist or passenger and speeds off. A hit-and-run can also occur when a driver hits an unattended parked car and fails to leave any contact information for the car owner.
What to Do after the Hit-and-Run
As soon as the accident happens, it is extremely important that the victim gather as much information as possible about the car that hit him or her. The more information that can be recalled, the better the chances are that the police will be able to later identify and catch the driver who hit him or her and the easier it will be to help the insurance company make a determination on an insurance claim. Note the make and model of the car and the license plate number. The victim needs to also look for any witnesses, getting their names and contact information.
It is also recommended that the person write down the time and location of the accident and take pictures of the accident scene, injuries they sustained, as well as pictures of the car, especially if the other car left visible paint marks on it.
It can be more difficult if the hit-and-run occurred in a parking lot and the victim of the accident did not see the accident happen. Note the time, location and any damage, as well as take pictures of the damage. If the parking lot has video surveillance, make sure and request this from the establishment.
Filing a Police Report
Whenever a hit-and-run accident occurs, it is best to immediately contact the police. File an accident report to document what happened. Give the police all information needed to help find the driver. The police report will also help speed up the process of filing an insurance claim for damages sustained in the hit-and-run.
Florida law requires the driver of any vehicle involved in an auto accident to immediately stop the vehicle and remain at the scene. Drivers cannot leave the scene until they have given their names, addresses and registration numbers for the vehicles. Drivers must also provide their driver’s licenses to any injured person, other drivers, or occupants of the vehicle. Drivers involved in the accident must also render reasonable aid to any injured person, including arranging for the person to get medical attention. If a person willfully violates this law, in Florida, they are subject to prosecution for a felony of the third degree.
FREE CONSULTATION WITH A MIAMI HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident in Florida, it is very important to consult with an experienced Miami hit-and-run accident attorney immediately. Florida auto accident victims have only 14 days to seek initial medical attention to receive insurance benefits after an accident, so it is important you are seen by a doctor as soon as possible following the accident. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer, and he and the lawyers at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers understand Florida’s complex personal injury laws and since 1991 we have fought hard to protect the legal rights of the injured and their families- and hold auto insurers like State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, GEICO and others accountable for the pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages suffered by our clients. Contact us today and speak with an experienced Miami hit-and-run accident attorney toll free 1-866-597-4529, local 305-441-0440, or by email. We offer a free initial consultation at your home, office, hotel or hospital. Call us today, we are ready to help.