Hit and run accidents can be an unfortunate and distressing event for any victim. These incidents involve a driver causing damage to another person, vehicle, or property and then fleeing the scene without providing their contact information or rendering aid. In Florida, being involved in such an accident can be particularly challenging, given the state’s strict laws and regulations. If you find yourself as the victim of a hit and run accident in Florida, it is crucial to know the steps to take to protect yourself and your rights.
- Prioritize Safety
The first and most crucial step is to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. Check for any injuries and call 911 if necessary. Move your vehicle to a safe location if it poses a risk to oncoming traffic or if there are hazards, such as leaking fluids. If the situation is safe, and you are not injured, continue to the next steps.
- Gather Information
Even though the driver responsible for the accident has fled the scene, it is essential to collect as much information as possible. Take note of any details about the fleeing vehicle, such as its make, model, color, and any identifying features or partial license plate numbers. Document the time, date, location, and direction of travel of the hit and run driver. Also, gather contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident.
- Call the Police
Florida law requires that you report any hit and run accidents to the police. Call the police as soon as possible and provide them with all the information you have gathered. The police will create an official accident report, which will be helpful for your insurance claim and any potential legal action. Remember to request a copy of the report for your records.
- Document the Scene
Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle and the scene of the accident, including any skid marks, debris, or traffic signals. These pictures can serve as valuable evidence for your insurance claim and may help the police identify the hit and run driver.
- Seek Medical Attention
Even if you do not feel any immediate pain or injury, it is essential to seek medical attention after a hit and run accident. Adrenaline may mask symptoms, and some injuries may not be apparent right away. A medical evaluation will help establish a record of any injuries related to the accident, which can be crucial for your insurance claim or legal action.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with the police report and any evidence you have collected. In Florida, drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which will cover medical expenses and lost wages up to a certain amount, regardless of who was at fault. Additionally, if you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, this may help cover damages if the hit and run driver cannot be identified or lacks insurance.
- Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
In some cases, it may be necessary to consult a personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling hit and run cases in Florida. They can help guide you through the legal process, work with your insurance company, and pursue compensation for your damages.
Being the victim of a hit and run accident in Florida can be a traumatic and frustrating experience. By following these steps, you can help protect yourself and your rights. Prioritize safety, gather information, call the police, document the scene, seek medical attention, contact your insurance company, and consult with an attorney if necessary. Remember, you have rights as a victim, and taking the proper actions will help ensure you receive the compensation and justice you deserve.
- According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 108,155 hit and run crashes in Florida in 2021 and 304 fatalities.
- In 2020, there were 92,263 hit and run crashes in Florida and 257 fatalities.
- In 2019, there were 105,893 hit and run arrests in Florida and 217 fatalities.
Contact the Law Offices of Mark T. Stern
Have you been the victim of a hit and run accident in Florida? Don’t let the storm of injustice continue to rage on. It’s time to take action and regain control of your life. Mark T. Stern, a highly experienced Florida car accident attorney, is here to fight by your side and help you navigate the treacherous legal waters. Don’t suffer in silence; let Mark T. Stern be the beacon of hope that guides you through these dark times.
Contact our firm today for a FREE consultation, and together, we’ll bring the sunshine back into your life. Call 954-772-6800 or visit www.attorneysternfl.com to reclaim your peace of mind and the compensation you deserve.