In the state of Florida, when you get into or cause a motor vehicle accident, you are supposed to remain at the scene of the crash. However, drivers occasionally flee in the scene instead—especially if they are the one who was at fault for the accident. This is known as “leaving the scene of an accident” or more colloquially as a hit and run.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that you should be able to make an insurance claim to receive compensation for your injuries regardless of whether or not you locate the driver who hit you—however, you may be responsible for paying for property damage on your own.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of finding the at fault driver and holding them responsible for any and all damages. Our Panama City auto accident lawyer Wes Pittman explains what to do if you’ve been injured in a hit and run accident.
Hit and run collisions occur every day in Florida. They can involve anything from someone hitting a parked car in a parking lot and driving away to getting run over by a reckless driver at a crosswalk who doesn’t stop to check on the victim or call 911.
Between 2015 and 2019, 507,648 hit and run crashes occurred throughout the state, 1,037 of which resulted in fatalities, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Most hit and run fatalities—over 84%—occur during low light hours, such as dawn, dusk, and at night.
In no-fault liability state like Florida, your automobile insurance policy will cover your losses, up to your policy limits. However, how much compensation you get depends greatly on which insurance you opted into, especially since certain car insurance coverage is optional in this state.
Types of Florida auto insurance that will help you pay for injuries suffered in a hit and run include:
However, you can’t make a claim against the at fault driver’s insurance (liability) unless you know who the driver is. If you can’t locate the person who caused your accident, expenses like car repair may come out of your pocket if your insurance doesn’t cover it. This usually happens to people who only opt for minimum coverage insurance.
Here are some steps you can take to locate the person who hit you or your vehicle if you’d like to make a claim:
With enough follow-through, you may be able to locate the at-fault driver and hold them responsible. However, the driver may have fled the scene because they don’t have insurance, in which case they may not be able to offer compensation after all.
In this situation, the best way to secure just compensation for your damages is to file a personal injury claim. An auto accident lawyer with decades of experience and extensive knowledge of Florida personal injury law can help. At The Pittman Firm, our attorneys will help you collect evidence and initiate tactics that have helped us locate and hold at fault drivers accountable in the past. We can also assist you if your insurance company refuses to pay you a legitimate claim.Contact us today if you or a loved one been injured in a Florida hit and run accident. We offer free consultations with a Panama City auto accident lawyer to all new clients.