Hit and Run Accidents
In Florida, it is a crime for a driver who is involved in an accident to leave the scene. This inexcusable behavior leaves accident victims defenseless, lacking prompt medical attention during the critical period following a crash. Florida imposes criminal penalties upon these drivers. A driver who leaves the scene of an accident in which someone suffered injuries may also be subject to civil liability, potentially including punitive damages. At The Grife Law Firm, our experienced Boca Raton car accident lawyers advocate on behalf of injured individuals throughout South Florida.
We conduct an independent investigation of a hit and run accident, seeking to determine the identity of the at-fault driver. Even if the driver’s identity is not uncovered, we have experience securing damages for clients through their uninsured motorist coverage. We understand the emotional impact of a hit and run accident, and we are here to fight on your behalf as we maximize your claim for damages.Recover Monetary Damages After Suffering Injuries in a Hit and Run Accident
Florida laws forbid leaving the scene of an accident, whether the accident has caused property damage or bodily injuries to another person. According to Florida Statutes 316.062, a driver has the affirmative duty of stopping their vehicle at the scene of a crash and notifying the other driver of their name, address, vehicle registration number, and driver’s license information. Additionally, the driver of any vehicle involved in a collision must provide “reasonable assistance” to the injured person, ensuring that they are taken to a hospital or surgeon for medical care or treatment.
In civil court, hit and run accident victims pursuing damages typically proceed under a negligence theory of law. This requires showing that the at-fault driver failed to exercise due care, as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. Most hit and run drivers are at least partly at fault for an accident, or they would not flee the scene. This breached duty must have directly caused injuries. Often, causation can be shown through witness testimony and the report produced by the police officer who came to the accident scene. Finally, the injured individual has the responsibility to set forth their damages.
The first step in a civil claim for negligence following a hit and run accident is to investigate the crash and try to determine the identity of the at-fault driver. If possible, victims should take pictures of the fleeing driver’s license plate. They should note any physical details of the car and write down all of this information in order to help the police and other investigators identify the driver. If there are witnesses to the crash, it can be helpful if they provide a written statement of their observations.Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims
In some situations, unfortunately, a hit and run driver cannot be identified despite the best efforts of law enforcement and the victim’s attorney. Victims still have legal options for recovering damages associated with the accident, however, and it is important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can pursue all of the possible sources of compensation. Although uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is not required by Florida law, victims of hit and run accidents may make a claim with their own insurer to seek damages if they have this coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage may apply if the other driver is not identified, or if they are identified but have no insurance. (This is a common reason for fleeing the scene.) Underinsured motorist coverage is beneficial when injuries and damages are above the limits of the at-fault driver’s coverage.
You might think that your insurer will be helpful and responsive if you bring an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, since you purchased your policy from the insurer. However, insurers are adverse parties to drivers in these cases. They will try to avoid paying out on a policy whenever possible. You should make sure to get a tenacious legal advocate on your side, who will force the insurer to play by the rules.Discuss the Details of Your Claim with an Experienced Boca Raton Attorney
The injury attorneys at The Grife Law Firm provide compassionate, knowledgeable representation to victims of hit and run accidents. For a free consultation, call our office at 855-998-0770 or reach us online. We help injured individuals and their families in cities such as Boca Raton, Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale, as well as the surrounding communities.