Attorneys for Hit & Run Crash Injuries
Have you been injured by a hit-and-run driver? You may believe that you’re on your own for your medical bills, but that’s not usually the case. In the state of Florida, drivers are required to carry coverage that can pay for some of your costs, and many drivers have additional coverage. And that, of course, assumes that the other driver is not caught. If you’ve suffered injuries from a hit-and-run accident, call Weinstein Legal immediately and an experienced personal injury lawyer near you who represents accident victims will answer your questions. Call today for a free, no-obligation appointment.
Florida’s Hit-and-Run Statute and Related Laws
Under FSS 316.061, any person involved in a crash resulting in damage to a vehicle or other property must stop and remain on scene until they have provided their personal and contact information to the owner of the damaged property. If the accident resulted in injuries to another, the driver must remain on scene to render aid and/or call fire rescue. Failure to stay on scene without fulfilling these obligations is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a $500 fine, and six points assessed to the license. This is in addition to any other penalties like reckless driving, DUI, etc.
Hit and runs with injuries are covered under FSS 316.027. Any hit and run involving an injury to another is a felony, but here are the individual penalties:
- Hit and Run Resulting in Minor Injuries to Another – Third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
- Hit and Run Resulting in Serious Injuries to Another – Second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines
- Hit and Run Resulting in Death – First-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. If the driver was DUI, there is a minimum four-year prison sentence.
Who Is Liable for a Hit-and-Run Accident?
This might sound counterintuitive, but the hit-and-run aspect of the accident has nothing to do with liability. Although it’s not common, it’s entirely possible for the at-fault driver to remain on scene while the other driver illegally leaves. There are several reasons why this might occur. The “innocent driver” may be guilty of another crime, like DUI or drug possession. They may have an outstanding warrant or questionable legal status. Liability is determined by the driver’s actions leading up to the accident, not after. In most cases, however, the hit-and-run driver knows they violated the law and are trying to avoid justice.
Common Hit-and-Run Injuries
Hit-and-run accident injuries tend to follow the same types of injuries that occur in other accidents. Rear-end accidents, for instance, often result in whiplash. When a hit-and-run driver runs a stop sign or red light, the injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones, TBIs, or even death.
Hit-and-Run Crash Statistics
FLHSMV compiles comprehensive accident statistics, and according to their dashboard, there were 92,247 hit-and-run crashes in Florida in 2020, which is a little more than a quarter of all crashes for the state. Broward had 10,521 hit-and-run accidents (30.9% of total crashes), and Palm Beach had 6,155 hit and runs (27.8% of total crashes). This means that the odds of being in a hit-and-run accident in South Florida are relatively high.
Compensation for Victims of Hit-and-Run Accidents
If you are injured in a hit and run, you will most likely incur significant medical bills and possibly lost wages, not to mention your vehicle damage. These are referred to as economic costs. Assuming the at-fault party isn’t identified, your insurance is responsible for them up to the limits of your policy. You are also entitled to non-economic damages, which are also referred to as “pain and suffering.” This is monetary compensation for the physical pain, emotional trauma, and general inconvenience that you’ll experience. This will be much more difficult to collect without identifying the at-fault party.
Dos and Don’ts of Hit-and-Run Accidents
The following information is not legal advice, but they are tips that may help with the identification of the at-fault party in your hit-and-run accident.
Dos of a Hit-and-Run Collision
- Call 911 Immediately – Report your location, the vehicle description, a description of the damage, their direction of travel, a description of the driver, and the license plate or partial plate if you have it.
- Remain on Scene – Trying to pursue the other driver can be dangerous and expose you to further liability.
- Identify Witnesses – If anyone has stopped to assist, find out if they witnessed the accident or have any information about the vehicle or driver.
- Take Photos – Carefully take photos of your damages, the roadway, debris, and visible injuries. Take a picture of the fleeing vehicle if you’re able to.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. In Broward, Palm Beach, or Orange counties, contact Weinstein Legal to speak to a hit-and-run accident attorney. By hiring a personal injury lawyer — like you’ll find at Weinstein Legal — at the beginning of your case, you can ensure that you have top-tier legal representation right up until you receive a settlement or an award through litigation.
Don’ts of a Hit-and-Run Accident
- Pursue – You may be tempted to follow the other vehicle, but this is extremely dangerous. The other driver may become violent, or you may become involved in another accident.
- Wash Your Car or Repair Damage – Wait until the police tell you that they’ve completed their investigation and you’ve talked to an attorney to make any changes to the vehicle.
- Delay Going to the Doctor – Your health is paramount, and your insurance should ultimately be responsible for your medical bills to the limits of the policy, so don’t delay medical care.
Hit-and-Run Lawyer In Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando
Weinstein Legal represents accident victims in Broward, Orange, and Palm Beach counties. Because the team works on a contingency basis, you will not have to pay out of pocket for their professional legal advice. Before you accept a settlement from the insurance company, call Weinstein Legal for free and immediate legal advice.