Year after year, the hit and run statistics remain relatively steady in Florida. Approximately 25 percent of all Florida accidents involve a hit and run driver. While all accidents are stressful, hit and run accidents can be particularly challenging. If you’ve been injured and the at-fault driver has left the scene of the crash then it is important to call the police right away. It is also vital to understand your rights after a hit and run crash so that you can make a full and fair recovery.
It Is a Crime to Leave the Scene of a Florida Accident
It may seem unbelievable to you that someone would leave the scene of an accident—particularly an accident that resulted in injuries. However, drivers do commonly leave accident scenes for many different reasons. For example, a hit and run driver may:
- Worry about an outstanding arrest warrant
- Worry about having a driver’s license revoked
- Not have car insurance
- Not have a driver’s license
While this may explain why a driver fled the scene of the crash, it is still a crime to leave the scene of a crash. Leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in injuries is a second- or third-degree felony that could result in license revocation, a fine, and prison time. If someone died in the accident then leaving the scene becomes a first-degree felony and the prison time and fine may be more significant.
How to Find a Florida Driver Who Left the Scene of an Accident
While the state decides whether it will pursue a criminal case against the hit and run driver who hurt you, you need to decide whether you are going to take action to protect your personal injury case.
Trying to find the driver who left the scene of the crash is an important step in protecting your rights. You can begin the process right at the accident scene. If possible, it is important to take pictures of the scene and detailed notes about the vehicle that hit you. This information should include the make, model, color, and license plate number, if possible. Additionally, you should get the names and contact information for everyone who witnessed the crash.
The information that you gather should be shared with the police and with your accident lawyer who will conduct a full investigation to try to find the driver who caused the crash. This, together with other information such as video footage from nearby businesses, may provide the clues that you need to identify who caused your crash.
What Happens If You Can’t Find the Hit and Run Driver
Even if you can’t find the driver who caused the accident, you may still be able to recover damages for your car accident injuries if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is optional in Florida and it must be purchased prior to your accident in order to cover your injuries and damages.
If you have selected and paid for uninsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance policy then your own insurance company may be responsible for compensating you for your accident injuries. However, in this situation, your own insurance company may act like an adverse party and try to pay you as little as possible for your damages so that it can maximize its own profits.
How to Get the Hit and Run Car Accident Recovery You Deserve
Whether you end up finding the driver who hurt you or pursuing a recovery from your own insurance company, you deserve to have an experienced Florida accident lawyer helping you at each step of the way. We purposefully keep our caseload small so that we can give each of our clients our full attention and work hard for their fair recovery. We will fight for your compensation of past and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, and suffering. We will get to know you and how your injuries impacted your life. Call us or reach out to us via this website to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.