Navigating the Aftermath: Understanding Hit-and-Run Accidents in Florida
When a hit-and-run accident is experienced, it can leave victims feeling helpless and disoriented. Dealing with the repercussions of such an incident can often be overwhelming.
Knowledge is a powerful tool during these challenging times. In this blog post, an in-depth look is taken at the most critical aspects of hit-and-run accidents in Florida, including the state laws, the steps to take post-accident, and how a personal injury attorney can provide invaluable assistance.
Florida Hit-and-Run Laws
In the state of Florida, a responsibility is placed on all drivers involved in a vehicle accident to remain at the scene. This obligation applies regardless of who was at fault.
When injuries have occurred, the Florida Statute 316.062 requires that “reasonable assistance” be rendered, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of such person to a physician or hospital for medical treatment.
Leaving the scene is considered a violation of these laws, and serious penalties are associated with a hit-and-run.
Penalties for Hit-and-Run in Florida
Penalties for a hit-and-run offense in Florida are quite severe. Depending on the specifics of the accident, they range from second-degree misdemeanors to first-degree felonies.
If only property damage was caused, the act is considered a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. However, if injuries were caused, it is deemed a second or third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison or probation and a $5,000 fine.
cases where a death has occurred, the crime is classified as a first-degree felony, and penalties include a minimum mandatory sentence of four years and up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
When a hit-and-run accident is encountered, certain steps can be taken to ensure the best possible outcome.
The scene of the accident should not be left, and immediate contact with law enforcement should be made. As much information as possible should be gathered, including the details of the accident, descriptions of the vehicle and driver, and witness information.
Medical attention should be sought, even if injuries initially seem minor. An official report should be made to your insurance company, and professional legal guidance should be sought.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In the state of Florida, the inclusion of Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) in a driver’s insurance policy can be of significant benefit in hit-and-run cases.
UM coverage is designed to protect drivers when the at-fault party either doesn’t have insurance or, as in hit-and-run cases, cannot be identified. It’s important to note that this coverage is not mandatory in Florida, but it’s highly recommended.
The Role of a Personal Injury Attorney in a Hit-and-Run Case
Navigating a hit-and-run case can often feel like traversing an unfamiliar landscape. The role of a personal injury attorney in such a situation is multi-faceted, and the value they bring should not be underestimated.
By a personal injury attorney, legal obligations and rights are clearly explained to ensure informed decisions are made. Expert advice on how to deal with insurance companies, who often try to minimize their payout, can be provided. Assistance can be given in gathering and organizing all necessary evidence, as well as in determining the true value of the claim, taking into account medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
When negotiations for a fair settlement with insurance companies prove unsuccessful, it is the personal injury attorney who can take the case to court. Years of experience and in-depth knowledge of Florida law can be leveraged to fight for fair compensation.
Legal matters can often be stressful, adding additional burden to the physical and emotional trauma of a hit-and-run accident. A significant aspect of a personal injury attorney’s role is the alleviation of this stress, allowing the focus to be placed on physical recovery and emotional well-being.
The path following a hit-and-run accident in Florida can feel fraught with obstacles. It is hoped that the information provided in this blog post provides some clarity and guidance. However, the intricacies and nuances of the legal world can often be best navigated with professional assistance. It is in a personal injury attorney that a knowledgeable guide and unwavering advocate can be found, providing invaluable support during an incredibly challenging time.
Victims who suffer from injuries caused by another driver’s negligence have the legal right to seek compensation for their pain and suffering, but this process can be complicated.
That’s where we come in. Our experienced car accident attorneys provide free consultations about an injury victim’s rights after an accident. We understand what you are going through, and we can help get you back on your feet.
Throughout your case, our firm will be with you every step of the way. We work quickly to gather evidence and build a compelling argument in your favor so that you can focus on getting better and moving forward with your life after an auto accident.
At Wood, Atter and Wolf, we strive to solve the most important problems when a client suffers personal injury.
The proven methods we employ create a working environment that allows all parties to resolve their differences.