A hit and run car accident in Florida is more common than you would think. In fact, a client contacted us just this morning with serious injuries from a driver who fled the scene. In Florida, approximately 25% of accidents are hit and runs. A hit and run accident can be an extremely frustrating situation. But pursuing an insurance claim for a hit and run accident could possibly be even more frustrating.
Here are 5 important facts about insurance coverage after a hit and run accident.
#1: Uninsured Motorist Insurance Could Save You
If a person becomes the victim of a hit and run accident, having uninsured motorist coverage (UM) will cover the victim’s damages. This is particularly helpful since in the event that a person is injured and the hit-and-run driver isn't caught, this coverage will cover just like if the person didn't have insurance at all.
The coverage can be broken into two basic categories:
- injuries to the driver and passengers (bodily injury)
- damage to the vehicle (property damage)
#2: Standard Car Insurance May Not Be Enough
In some cases, standard motorist coverage isn't always enough to cover all the damages from a car accident. Insurance only covers up to a certain amount, depending on the coverage, so it may fall short in serious situations or injuries. This is why having adequate coverage is imperative before something like a hit and run accident happens to you. Ensuring that you have extras, like UM or Bodily Injury coverage, will prevent situations like a hit and run from putting you and your family in a financially tight spot.
#3: Collecting Evidence is Crucial
Collecting evidence after an accident is always crucial to a successful claim. But when there is no other driver, evidence can be even more pivotal in the outcome of a case. Hiring an expert attorney is a great way to ensure that the appropriate evidence is collected, analyzed, and used effectively in making your case.
After a hit and run accident, you will have to prove:
- the accident was caused by an unknown motorist;
- all reasonable efforts have been made to try and identify the other driver and if the other party involved has any existing insurance policies;
- if you have suffered any injuries or damages as a direct result of the hit and run accident.
#4: Hit and Run Accident Claims Have a Time Limit
All hit and run insurance claims, just like any other accident, are subject to Florida’s statute of limitations. You always have to remember that the longer you wait to file a claim, the more it can damage your claim. Not only is there an actual time limit on how long you have to file a claim, but evidence can be lost, procedures can be missed, and credibility can be deteriorated.
In Florida, the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit after a hit and run is four years. This may sound like a lot of time, but in cases in which a person doesn't know the extent of their injuries until years later, this can be restrictive.
If someone dies in a hit and run accident, then the statute of limitation that applies involves wrongful death, which is two years from the date of death.
#5: Stay at the Scene of the Accident
If you happen to be involved in a hit and run, it's imperative that you stay at the scene of the crime. It can be tempting to chase after the person or attempt to follow them in order to get their license plate information, but you should not do this. Not only is it the law, but depending on the severity, leaving an accident could make you injuries worse.
The penalty for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage is a second degree misdemeanor charge, including the possibility of sixty days in prison and a $500 fine. If there are injury’s involved, than the charges can be trumped up to a second or third degree felony, including a suspension of license for at least 3 years, up to five years in prison, and a $5,000 fine. Lastly, if there has been a fatality due to the accident, then it's considered a first degree felony, involving a revoked license for up to three years, and a mandatory minimum of four years in jail, and a $10,000 fine.
Dolman Law Group
At Dolman Law, we understand that an injury caused by a hit and run driver can be frustrating. These types of incidents create many problems, questions, and concerns. But hiring an attorney can not only help to increase your settlement, it can decrease your worry. We are here to take the stresses of filing a claim off of your shoulders while you worry about recovering from your injuries.
Contact us for a free case evaluation. We will be happy to review your case and answer any questions you may have. Call today at
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL33712
St. Petersburg, FL33712