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Accidents can be devastating, and it’s even worse when the responsible party leaves the scene to avoid the consequences. You have damage to your vehicle, and more importantly, you may be injured. Who is going to help you recover your medical expenses, lost wages, and vehicle expenses? Who will compensate you for your pain and suffering? The good news is that even if the driver is never caught, you may be entitled to a settlement from your insurance company. We will cover this later in the article.
Many of the steps you should take in a hit and run accident are the same as for any accident, so we’ll start with the generic rules for any accident and move on to the things you should do for a hit-and-run-collision.
- Always move to a safe place. If you’re in traffic, stay in your vehicle. If your vehicle isn’t safe due to its condition or its position on the road, get out carefully, and go to the side of the road.
- Call 911 and request police and rescue to respond to the scene. Even if you feel fine, you may have sustained injuries and other parties may be hurt.
- Take photos and videos of the scene from a safe vantage point. Of particular importance are apparent injuries, the position of the vehicles, damage to the vehicles, condition of the roadway, and street signs or markers.
- Collect the names and contact info of anyone who saw the accident.
If the other driver flees the scene:
- Try to remember the license plate. This is the best way of obtaining the identity of the driver. Type it into your phone or text it to yourself if you think that you will forget.
- Remember as many details about the vehicle and driver as you can.
- Vehicle: color, make, model, approximate year, modifications, tinting, and damage from the accident
- Individual: Gender, race, approximate age, hair color, eye color, and clothing
Remember that your safety comes first. Do not try to physically detain the driver. Don’t follow their vehicle. If they leave, allow the police to do a followup investigation.
Who pays for my accident?
Florida is a no-fault state, which means that your insurance policy covers you, regardless of fault. While it might be more satisfying for the other driver to be cited and possibly arrested for leaving the scene of an accident, it’s not necessary to identify the other driver to file a claim. It may, however, be helpful for your personal injury attorney when negotiating with your insurance company.
If you’ve been injured by an unknown motorist in a hit-and-run car accident, you may require the assistance of a car accident attorney to get the full compensation that you deserve. Without both parties on the scene, the insurers may use the fact that they weren’t able to depose all witnesses as an excuse to minimize or forestall payment. Florida personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t have to pay them until your case is settled.