Being injured in a car accident is a stressful experience, and it can be even more difficult if the vehicle that struck you flees from the scene. A hit and run accident can cause catastrophic injuries that result in steep medical bills and time lost from work. You might have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover your damages in a car accident where the other party is known, but in cases where the negligent driver does not identify themselves, the process of getting compensation is more difficult.
There are several ways you may be able to obtain monetary damages if you’ve been in a hit and run accident, including the following:
- Collecting no-fault insurance benefits— In Florida, your first avenue of economic recovery after an accident is through your own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault. No-fault insurance will pay 80 percent of your medical costs up to $10,000.
- Identifying the other driver— If you are able to do so, it’s important to make note of any details you can about the accident and the vehicle that struck you. If possible, write down the car’s license plate number and any identifying marks on the vehicle. The police should be able to track down the hit and run driver and determine their insurance information.
- Filing an uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) claim— If the other driver cannot be located, or if they do not have an insurance policy, you may be able to obtain compensation if you have UM/UIM coverage. This coverage can pay for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and future lost earnings.
Even if the at-fault driver can be located, there is no guarantee that a victim will be able to secure substantial recovery from them. In many instances, hit and run drivers might flee the scene because they do not carry the minimum amount of insurance required by Florida law. The driver also may not have enough assets to cover any judgment you are awarded, making it impossible to collect.
Another potential avenue of recovery in a hit and run car accident may be filing a claim against a municipality. If hazardous road conditions contributed to the collision and the municipality had notice of them but failed to make repairs, they may be partly to blame in a personal injury action.
If you’ve been in a car accident with a hit and run driver, it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney on your side who knows how to obtain the compensation to which you’re entitled. Frank Charles Miranda, P.A. provides reliable representation and skilled advocacy for a wide variety of personal injury matters in the Tampa area. Call 813-902-3925 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.