According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, hit and run accidents have been on a steady rise in the state. The law provides severe consequences for any driver who runs from an accident site. But this does not stop some parties from fleeing the scene. Unlike other accidents, with a hit and run crash, you may not have anyone to hold accountable for your damages.
Hit and run car accidents can leave you not knowing where to turn to. But there are legal avenues you can follow. You can seek the help of Fort Lauderdale hit and run car accident lawyers. Dolman Law Group can help you hold the reckless party accountable for their actions. Whether you were driving, walking, or a passenger when the defendant hit you and fled, we can help.
Responsibility of the Driver to You After an Accident
According to Florida Statute Section 316.027, any driver involved in an accident must stop and stay at the site until they complete their responsibilities. The driver must also give their contact information and vehicle registration number if asked for. When the police arrive at the scene, the law requires the driver to cooperate with the resulting investigation.
Drivers who cause an accident run away for a variety of different reasons. Oftentimes, a driver flees the scene because they are uninsured or fearful of paying for the damages. They may escape to avoid an investigation into their actions by law enforcement. They may want to avoid investigation because there is a warrant for their arrest.
Another common reason a driver flees is that they may have broken the law and want to avoid discovery. They may have been driving while intoxicated or having illegal substances with them. If the driver does not perform their legal duty after a hit and run accident, you can hold them accountable. A lawyer can help you file for compensation if the police catch the driver. The driver may also face other penalties after arrest.
Consequences of Fleeing the Scene of the Crash
Leaving the scene of an accident is against the law in Florida. Thus, if you were a victim in a hit and run car accident, the law is on your side. The seriousness of the crash will play a part in determining what consequences the defendant will face if they are caught. Similarly, the presence of injuries or deaths will affect what charges the defendant will face.
In Florida, if the accident results in death, the penalties are strict. For example, if a hit and run accident resulted in death, the driver may face a mandatory four-year prison sentence. In addition, they are likely to have their driver's license revoked for at least three years. If the accident causes property damage, the driver could face jail time and a fine.
If it leads to injuries, the defendant may serve time in prison and have their driver's license revoked. Law enforcement will put their efforts into searching for the driver to bring them to justice. They may rely on witness testimonies and surveillance footage to nab them. If the driver faces penalties, it may help you feel like justice was served, but this won't cover your damages.
Recovering Damages After Your Fort Lauderdale Hit and Run Car Accident
The criminal penalties that hit and run drivers face when caught may not include compensation for your injuries and losses. For you to recover damages, you will have to file for compensation, typically through the at-fault party's insurance. What you can recover as damages depends partly on the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life.
Hit and run accidents may lead to serious injuries for which you must receive treatment. Compensation will cover the cost of medical care. This involves what you spent on medicine, surgery, and transport to and from the hospital. It also includes future treatment costs such as physical therapy or additional operations.
You can also recover damages for the wages you lost while on recovery. Your injuries may prevent you from working in the same capacity you did before the accident. For this, you can recover future lost earning capacity. Compensation may also cover pain and suffering, disfigurement, and emotional anguish. If you lost a loved one, you could file for wrongful death damages.
Legal Options If the Hit and Run Driver Is Not Caught
Law enforcement might be unable to apprehend the defendant who caused your accident. In such a case, you can still recover damages by turning to your insurance provider. You may have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. It covers you if the other driver does not have an insurance policy. It also applies if you are in a hit and run car accident.
With uninsured coverage, you can receive compensation for costs related to the injuries you suffered. Your personal injury protection coverage will also come into play. Through it, you can recover damages for medical costs and lost income. This coverage normally has a limit of $10,000. You can choose to hire the services of Fort Lauderdale hit and run car accident lawyers to guide you in seeking compensation from your insurer.
The insurance provider may try to give you a lower settlement after your hit and run car accident. They do this to ensure they maximize their profits. A hit and run car accident lawyer can help you deal with such a situation. Your auto accident attorney can negotiate with the insurance provider to get a fair settlement or file a lawsuit.
The Dolman Law Group Can Advocate for Your Rights After a Hit and Run Car Accident
Recovering damages after a hit and run car accident may seem impossible. You may think of covering the cost on your own, but you shouldn't have to. At Dolman Law Group, we can help you get compensation from your insurance company or from the driver if they are caught. For legal assistance in a hit and run car accident in the Fort Lauderdale are, contact us today to set up a free consultation.
Fort Lauderdale Office
150 E Davie Blvd Suite 201-2
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: (754) 208-1130