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Between 2015 and 2019, there were over 508,000 hit-and-run accidents in Florida. Out of these crashes, 1,037 resulted in fatalities, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. When a driver flees an accident scene, they leave behind devastation, severe injuries, and sometimes death. The injured person experiences mental pain as they are left to seek assistance on their own.
While finding the perpetrators of these accidents can be challenging, it is essential to know your legal options after getting hit by a distracted or drunk driver. Understanding your rights can increase the chances of catching the person responsible and receive a fair settlement for your injuries.
Check the steps below
Don’t Follow the Fleeing Driver
Chasing after the fleeing driver might seem like the best idea, but it is highly dangerous for you and everyone on the road. Your best option is to stay at the site, call 911, check for injuries, and request for emergency services. Even if your injuries are minor, you will need immediate medical attention to ensure a quick and full recovery. Also, make sure to record a statement with the police. Taking reasonable steps after a hit-and-run incident will not only save lives but ensure you have sufficient evidence to help with your pursuit of fair justice.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Consulting a car accident attorney after a hit-and-run incident is crucial. Your top priority is to secure full compensation for bodily injuries, mental anguish, and property damage caused by the crash. In the event the police cannot find the driver at fault, you may qualify to claim against your personal injury protection policy. While filing a case with your insurance company might sound easy, you will still need guidance from a lawyer. Since personal injury protection coverage doesn’t fully compensate for injuries and damages, your attorney will negotiate with your insurance company for the best deal. That way, you can avoid the financial implications of medical expenses and loss of income.
Recall Important Details
Although you may feel confused after an accident, make an effort to recall important details of the vehicle that fled the scene. Write down the car model, color, and the license plate number. Sharing the information you know will help the police trace the hit and run driver. Additionally, if you can get out of the car, take photos of the damages.
Collecting evidence at the accident scene will help build a strong injury claim case against the liable party if the police are fortunate to trace them. Whether you are a victim or the driver at-fault, it is vital to stay on the scene.
By following the right legal steps, drivers can protect themselves from severe consequences highlighted during the annual hit-and-run awareness campaign held in February. The campaign dubbed “Stay on the Scene” focused on driver responsibilities. The event also highlighted hit-and-run penalties, including a three years license revocation, five-year jail term, and a $5,000 fine for damages.