Recovery Options Following A Hit-And-Run Accident In Florida
Being involved in any type of car accident is frightening and can have potentially serious consequences. Collisions can, however, be particularly frustrating for injured parties when there is no one to answer for what happened because the negligent driver fled the scene of the accident. This happens a lot more than most people realize. In fact, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles estimates that as many as one in four crashes in Florida fall under the umbrella of hit-and-run accidents.
While there are laws on the books that hold fleeing drivers accountable for their actions, these laws don’t always come into play if a driver is never identified. Fortunately, even in these cases, an injured party may still have several insurance claim options to help cover the cost of related medical bills and lost wages. To learn more, please reach out to a Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorney, who can help you preserve evidence and protect your right to recover compensation.
An accident qualifies as a hit-and-run if a driver flees the scene of the crash without staying to exchange personal information with the other driver, or to render aid to anyone who’s injured. If someone causes this kind of accident and is identified, he or she could face criminal charges. While this can feel like the delivery of some sort of justice for an injured party, it won’t make him or her whole. To do this, the victim will need to file a claim with his or her Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage provider. All drivers are required to carry this type of policy in Florida, so a claimant won’t be required to prove fault in order to collect it. These policies cover emergency medical bills and a portion of a victim’s lost wages, but only up to $10,000.
Another policy that can help hit-and-run victims recover compensation after a crash is collision coverage, which is an extra insurance policy that covers the cost of vehicle damage, regardless of fault. This can be very helpful in hit-and-run cases, which often involve significant property damage. The only downside is that a claimant will probably be responsible for the deductible to cover the repairs, unless the other driver is located.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
Perhaps the best means of recovery in a hit-and-run accident, especially if the other driver can’t be identified, is UM coverage. These policies kick in when an at-fault driver either doesn’t have insurance, or in the case of a hit-and-run accident, can’t be found. These policies come standard with most Florida auto insurance policies. As long as policyholders can describe the vehicle and the basics of the crash to law enforcement and their insurer, these policies should cover losses resulting from a hit-and-run accident.
Legal Advice When in Need
This is not an exhaustive list of a hit-and-run accident victim’s recovery options after a crash. To learn more, please reach out to the dedicated Florida car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis by calling 954-566-9919 today.