According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 700,000 hit-and-run incidents between 2015 and 2021. These collisions resulted in 1,614 fatalities.

Hit and runs have become so frequent that the state of Florida has continually updated its hit-and-run law. As a result, hit-and-runs that cause bodily harm or death are penalized severely.

A hit-and-run accident in Florida that causes bodily harm is a third-degree felony under state law. A conviction may result in a sentence of five years in jail and upwards of $5,000 in fines.

If you believe you were the victim of a hit-and-run in Florida, you are entitled to compensation. A Port Charlotte car accident lawyer can make sure you receive justice and don’t have to deal with the financial strain on your own.

Why Hit and Run Accidents Occur

Hit and run incidents usually happen as a result of fear, the at-fault driver takes off because they are unwilling to accept the consequences of his or her actions. Other causes for the driver to flee the collision location include::

  • Outstanding warrants
  • Drunk driving
  • Driving unlicensed
  • Stolen vehicle

A driver who has been caught in an accident might believe that the cost of remaining at the scene is far greater than the cost of fleeing, therefore they’ll flee the site. However, most of the time, lack of insurance is why drivers flee from a collision site.

According to research, over 20% of drivers in Florida didn’t have auto insurance in 2019. Florida is ranked sixth on the list of states with the most uninsured drivers.

Steps to Follow After a Hit and Run Accident in Florida

After an accident in which the at-fault motorist flees, the other party must take certain measures to maximize their compensation.

Stop the Vehicle

The first task following a collision is to come to a complete stop at the scene. If it’s not possible to do so, make sure you pull over as near as possible to the stop location. The safety of yourself and others on the road is critical and we do not recommend chasing after an escaping driver; it might be hazardous. It’s ideal to park in the slow lane, but if your car can’t be moved because it has extensive damage, use the hazard light to notify other drivers.

Call 911

It’s natural to be shocked following a car accident in Port Charlotte, Florida. In most cases, accident victims are too dazed to realize they have injuries. As a result, call 911 straight away and give the operator the precise location of the vehicle accident.

Tell the operator exactly where you were and what happened to make it easier for the emergency responders to get there along with a description of the accident site.

Call the Police to File a Report

Accidents aren’t always reported to the authorities, especially when there is minor damage. However, if you were injured in a hit-and-run accident that resulted in injuries or property damage, call the police and file a report.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if the parties involved in an accident do not believe that they have been severely hurt, it is still important to contact a medical professional. Since the other motorist isn’t around to pay for their actions, the evidence of the collision would be the victim’s medical records and police reports.

Collect Evidence and Witness Statement

Take photos from various angles of the accident scene. Make a video of the vehicle and crash site from several perspectives. All of this is considered visual evidence.

Also, make a note of the vehicle that fled, such as the model, license plate, make, color, and model. Take photographs of any pieces of the vehicle that may have broken such as tail lights, side mirrors, or other objects.

It’s important to also get statements and contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. Witnesses in Florida are typically eager to assist hit-and-run accident victims and can help you when seeking compensation.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Following a hit-and-run accident, the next stage for the victim is to contact their insurance provider. They’ll evaluate your claim to determine how bad the damage was.

Hire a Car Accident Lawyer Immediately

Contact a Port Charlotte car accident lawyer as soon as possible following the collision. Hit-and-run claims can be difficult, especially because there’s typically limited evidence of the other driver. A car accident lawyer can assist clients in understanding their legal choices and navigating through the insurance claim procedure.

Florida’s No-Fault Insurance System

The majority of people believe that they must bear the financial burden associated with their injuries alone since the at-fault driver is missing. There’s still hope for compensation if your accident occurred without the at-fault driver.

Florida uses a no-fault insurance system. As a result, all drivers must have personal injury protection coverage worth at least $10,000. When a vehicle accident happens, motorists visit their insurance company first for benefits.

This benefit is available to drivers regardless of who is at fault in an accident. Because there’s no need to determine responsibilities before paying claims, this mechanism speeds up the resolution of disputes.

Personal injury protection, on the other hand, has a limit to how much it can cover. Because $10,000 is the maximum coverage, that’s how much people who suffer an accident would get. If their expenses happen to exceed the policy limit they can file a claim again the at-fault driver.

Being the victim of a vehicle accident in Port Charlotte, Florida can be distressing. It can be even worse when the driver flees from the scene after causing the accident. Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at FGB Law Firm at 941-979-9010 or complete our online contact form to get the help you deserve.