When someone rams into your car, then decides to take off, it can be devastating. A hit-and-run accident may seem like a hopeless situation if you have severe damage to your vehicle and extensive injuries. The fact that someone drove away without stopping can complicate the matter further.
However, with the proper legal advice and guidance, you can attempt to recover some of the compensation from the damages you've incurred. Orlando hit and run car accident lawyers are equipped to handle your accident claim while you recover from the injuries you've sustained. Although, it will take some work, you may be able to recoup some of the losses.
As you're probably aware, it is against the law to hit another vehicle and flee the scene of the accident. According to Florida's Statute 316.061, the person can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the accident. The driver of any vehicle involved in a crash, is required by law to immediately stop at the scene of the accident or as close to it as possible and should remain at the scene to cooperate with authorities and exchange information.
Steps After an Orlando Hit-and-Run Accident
It's vital to take some important steps after a hit-and-run accident to better help your case and assist the police in finding the perpetrator of the hit-and-run incident.
- After getting hit, get your phone or something to take notes on. Document as much as you can. If possible, try to capture the license plate or any part of it. Take note of the type of car the person was driving, the color of the car, and any other distinguishing factors; such as stickers, peeling paint, rust, etc.
- Be sure to call for help. When the police arrive, let them know what type of car hit you and the direction it was going when you saw it last. This will help them in trying to track down the driver. You will then need to fill out an official police report.
- Contact your insurance company to let them know the details of what happened.
- Seek medical attention for your injuries. Even if you don't think your injuries are severe, be sure to get checked out.
- Contact an Orlando hit-and-run car accident lawyer to find out what your options are for recovering any losses you incurred as a result of your accident.
Injuries and Damages
During a hit-and-run accident, you may have a range of injuries, depending on how bad the collision was. Your injuries may also cause you to miss work for a period of time and if the injuries are severe, you may be out of work for a long time. The loss of income is one of many damages you may incur during a hit-and-run accident. Some of the injuries you may suffer during a hit-and-run accident include:
- Broken bones
- Fractured ribs
- Cuts or other surface wounds
- Head injuries
- Facial or dental injuries
- Spinal injuries
Filing a Claim with Your Insurance
After getting into a hit-and-run accident, there are a few options you have to recover the damages and get compensation. The first two options involve coverage from your own insurance company:
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
When you signed up for insurance, you may have been offered uninsured motorist coverage. However, this insurance is not mandatory in Florida. This coverage helps offset the costs of an accident involving a hit-and-run accident, among other things. If you do have this insurance coverage, it may be helpful in resolving some of your damages. The amount varies, depending on what type of policy you have. In many cases, it's similar to the amount you would have with personal liability insurance.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
Personal injury protection (PIP) is mandatory insurance coverage for Florida drivers. Since you will have this coverage, you are automatically eligible for all its protections. However, you can select the minimum amount when you purchase this protection. If you choose the minimum amount of protection, it will usually only cover $10,000 for personal injury which in some instances, may not be enough to handle the extent of the damages incurred.
Recovering Damages in a Hit-and-Run Accident
You can review the information you have about the driver, the vehicle, the accident, and the surroundings. Sometimes, this can lead to additional clues about who the driver is. Also, there are often cameras located in public settings or eyewitnesses who may have seen something as well.
Another option to help you recover some of the damages in a hit-and-run accident is to work with the authorities and an Orlando hit-and-run car accident lawyer to find the driver. If you can locate the driver, you should then have a case to file a lawsuit claim. Since the driver left the scene of the accident, they are guilty of a crime. Your attorney can then try to negotiate a fair settlement with their insurance company.
Contact the Orlando Hit and Run Car Accident Attorneys Today
Don't let this incident wreck your life. You can recover some or all of the damages with the right resources. At the Dolman Law Group we will provide you with a free case evaluation. Don't hesitate to take action today by setting up an appointment.
1701 Park Center Drive, Suite #240-G
Orlando, FL 32835
Phone: (407) 759-4565