Being involved in a car accident is a scary experience, even if the parties involved manage to escape without injury. With many of these accidents, we can count on some level of cooperation by both drivers to stop and exchange information and to ensure everyone is okay. However, in 2020, there were over 92,000 hit and run crashes in Florida resulting in 256 fatalities. This accounts for over a quarter of all crashes in the state, so it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t do if this happens to you.
At Glober Law Firm, I’ve been helping members of my community as a personal injury attorney for over 25 years, and know how much these accidents can impact your life and your finances. If you’re in the Jacksonville Beach or Jacksonville area, the counties of Duval, Clay, Nassau, Baker, Union, Bradford, and St. Johns, or throughout the state of Florida and are unsure of your next steps after being involved in a hit and run, call me today to talk through your options.
No-Fault Insurance in Florida
Florida takes a fairly strong stance against hit and run drivers, but the hard truth is they’re not always found and it’ll be up to you to negotiate insurance settlements and figure out how to pay your expenses related to the crash. Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state, meaning that insurance policies can pay out damages regardless of who was at fault. This can be helpful in situations like this, but all too often the coverage doesn't cover all of your expenses.
Drivers in Florida are mandated to keep personal injury protection (PIP) as part of their auto policy. While this can help pay medical expenses related to the accident, it will not cover damages to your vehicle. Additionally, state law only requires that policies cover $10,000 in costs, so unless you opted for more comprehensive coverage, this may not cover all of your bills.
Uninsured or Underinsured
Many insurance policies will also include coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists, and in cases of hit and run when the at-fault driver can’t be found, this can help cover your additional expenses. This type of coverage, however, is not required by state so it’s probably a good idea to check your policy to see if you have it. If you do have this coverage, it can help pay expenses that go beyond the scope of your PIP coverage.
Steps to Take if You Were in a Hit and Run
Being prepared for accidents like this can make them easier to deal with, though no less traumatic. The first rule in hit and run crashes is that you should never try to pursue the at-fault driver. Instead, take note of as many details as you can, including the color, make, model, license plate number of the car, or any distinguishing features like a broken headlight, bumper stickers, or dents. Even the smallest detail could help law enforcement track down the perpetrator.
You should immediately check that you and any other passengers in your car are safe and uninjured. If you think you sustained injuries at all, you should seek medical treatment. The next step is to notify the authorities and try to talk to any witnesses and get their contact information. You should also note any business nearby that may have security camera footage of the accident.
After you’ve spoken with law enforcement, you should contact your insurance provider to start filing a claim after a hit and run. In many cases, it can be helpful to call an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you on your options.
Glober Law Firm: I’m On Your Side
Throughout my career, first working for an insurance company then turning my attention to the victims who really need the help, I’ve prided myself on providing straightforward and comprehensive information to my clients. My main priority is your safety and well-being. My goal is to help you get adequately compensated for your damages — expenses you were not at fault for but unfortunately are responsible for. Though my offices are in Jackson Beach, Florida, I’m able to help people throughout the entire state of Florida including Duval, Clay, Nassau, Baker, Union, Bradford, and St Johns County. Contact me today for help pursuing a claim.