Being injured in a serious car accident can be one of the worst experiences of your life. If the responsible driver flees the scene of the accident, trying to recover damages for your losses can be a nightmare.
Unfortunately, hit and run accidents in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and other regions of Florida are far more common than we would like to think.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), nearly 25 percent of all motor vehicle crashes involve hit and runs. In addition to facing criminal charges under Florida law, a driver who flees the scene of an accident can be held liable to compensate victims for their injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages in a civil suit.
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers has over 25 years of experience helping people who have been hurt in accidents, including crashes involving hit and run drivers. If you or someone you love has been injured in a hit-and-run crash, our Boca Raton accident lawyers will use all available resources to hold the at-fault party responsible and help you recover the monetary compensation that you deserve. Contact our Boca Raton office at (561) 347-7770 to get started with your case.
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What Happens if the Driver Can’t be Located?
Unfortunately, the reality is that far too often, hit-and-run drivers cannot be found after an accident. If the police were not able to find the driver responsible for the collision, you may be wondering whether you will be able to recover any compensation for your losses and injuries. Thankfully, you do have some options to recover compensation under Florida law. These include:
- Personal Injury Protection Coverage. In Florida, all owners of motor vehicles registered in the state are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP provides for coverage in an accident regardless of who was at-fault. If you are in a hit and run and the driver cannot be found, your own PIP will cover a portion of your lost wages and medical costs up to your policy limits. However, PIP does not provide coverage for property damage, pain and suffering and other non-economic losses.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Many drivers carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in their automobile insurance policies. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will cover damages up to your coverage limits.
FAQs: Seeking Financial Compensation After a Hit and Run Accident in Florida
Q: Is it Possible That Your Attorney will be Able to Identify the Hit and Run Driver?
Yes, it is possible. Today, there are more options than ever for identifying hit-and-run drivers. From traffic camera footage to the driver’s own posts on social media, there are various potential ways to identify the driver who hit you. That said, every case is different, and your attorney will only be able to work with the evidence that is available.
Q: What Coverage is Available Through PIP in the Case of a Hit and Run Accident?
In Florida, standard PIP policies provide $10,000 in coverage for medical expenses and lost income. While $10,000 is a lot of money, it likely only reflects a small percentage of your losses if you were seriously injured. So, it is important that you not give up and solely rely on your PIP coverage, and you should consult with a Boca Raton hit and run accident lawyer promptly to find out what other options you may have available.
Q: How Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work in Hit and Run Accident Cases?
In hit and run accident cases, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage essentially takes the place of the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy. You will need to file a fault-based claim with your insurance company, and you will need to be able to prove the extent of your financial and non-financial losses. As a result, even though you are seeking coverage under a policy that you paid for, you will still need to hire a lawyer to help you recover just compensation.
Q: Are There Any Other Options for Seeking Financial Compensation?
Potentially, yes. In addition to attempting to identify the hit-and-run driver and utilizing your own insurance coverage, other potential options for recovering financial compensation after a hit and run accident include:
- Filing a claim for a vehicle defect if an issue with your vehicle contributed to the crash (i.e. if your brakes failed unexpectedly) or exacerbated your injuries (i.e. if your airbag failed to deploy);
- Filing a claim against your dealership or repair shop if an issue with your vehicle played a role in your crash and the issue was attributable to negligent maintenance or repair work rather than a vehicle defect; and,
- Filing a claim for a road defect if an issue with the road played a role in causing the accident (i.e. if the hit and run driver forced you onto a low shoulder).
Q: Will You Need to Pay out of Pocket to Hire an Attorney for Your Hit and Run Claim?
No, you should not have to pay anything out of pocket in order to pursue your hit and run claim. At Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers, we handle all of our clients’ cases on a contingency-fee-basis, which means that we only get paid if we win.
We will bear the costs of attempting to identify the hit and run driver and pursuing all claims you have available; and, if we are successful, we will recoup our fees and expenses as a percentage of your financial recovery.
Because the process for obtaining insurance benefits can be very challenging and often comes with strict deadlines, it is always best to seek guidance from an experienced Boca Raton hit and run accident lawyer if you are injured in a hit and run.
When you work with Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers, we will identify all possible avenues for recovering financial compensation in your case.
We know the lengths that insurance companies will go to in an effort to minimize payouts in hit-and-run cases, and we will do everything we can to help you get the full compensation you are entitled to under the law.
Contact our Boca Raton Car Accident Law Firm Immediately
If you find yourself the victim of a car crash in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, or another nearby area, it is critical to speak with a qualified car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers understands just how complex these cases can be and is prepared to help you get the money you deserve. Call our car accident lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach today at (561) 347-7770 to schedule a free consultation with our hit and run accident attorney.