Whether you or a loved one was involved in a hit and run accident, it is critical to know your legal rights when seeking financial compensation to cover your damages. If you have a viable hit and run accident claim, you could be eligible for funds to pay for medical costs, lost wages if your injuries caused you to miss work, pain and suffering, property damage, and more. However, it could be challenging to be awarded the rightful amount of compensation you legally deserve without the help of an experienced hit and run accident attorney.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have more than 40 years of combined legal experience, which includes cases involving hit and run crashes. Allow our team of distinguished professionals guide you through the legal process, so you can seek the fair compensation that you may deserve by holding the at-fault party liable for your damages. We offer free, initial consultations for hit and run accident victims in the West Palm Beach area and throughout the state of Florida (by appointment only). Our accomplished attorneys have helped our clients earn more than $100,000,000 in combined successful verdicts and settlements and are ready to help more accident victims with the legal process.
Read on to learn more about how you may be able to seek financial compensation for your hit and run accident claim and what you need to do to preserve its value. Knowing your legal rights and how you can preserve the value of your claim could make a significant difference in the amount of compensation you end up receiving.
Proving Your Hit and Run Claim
While you may have the legal right to seek financial compensation for damages resulting from a hit and run crash, as the plaintiff, you hold the burden of proof. This means you have to prove that the damages were the result of negligence by the at-fault party.
According to Florida law, the four elements of negligence must be established to pursue financial compensation in a hit and run accident:
- The at-fault driver owed you a legal duty of care – All drivers are legally required to obey all traffic laws and drive in a safe manner, which prevents harm to themselves or others. If the driver who caused the hit and run accident was acting negligently, he or she could be held responsible for your damages, depending on the details of your claim.
- The duty of care was breached – This means the at-fault driver failed to uphold his or her legal duty of care. For example, a drunk driver or a driver who was going beyond the speed limit and caused a hit and run accident.
- Causation exists – In other words, your damages would not have occurred, had it not been for the negligence of the at-fault driver. You and your lawyer will need to show that the negligence of the other driver caused your damages.
- Damages were the result – This could be in the form of medical expenses, lost income from missing work, and property damage. If you lost a loved one in a hit and run crash, surviving relatives could be eligible to recover these damages — plus loss of emotional support, and funeral and burial costs.
Under Florida’s comparative fault statute, even if you were partially at-fault for the hit and run crash, you could recover a reduced amount of compensation, depending on your percentage of fault. For example, if your compensation was determined to be $100,000 and you were found to share 20 percent liability for causing the crash, you would only receive $80,000.
While some hit and run cases may appear to be obvious when determining fault, obtaining the full amount of compensation you may deserve could be difficult without the help of an experienced lawyer on your side. If your hit and run accident claim is viable, a skilled lawyer will perform a thorough investigation and gather valuable evidence to help you build a strong case in your favor.
How is Compensation Determined in a Hit and Run Crash?
The amount of compensation you could recover in a hit and run accident claim depends on the amount of damages you may have sustained. Again, it is up to you and your lawyer to uncover and show the necessary evidence to show the extent and severity of your damages.
Since no two hit and run accidents are exactly alike, it may be difficult to determine the amount of compensation you legally deserve without knowing the details of your claim. For instance, someone you know may have suffered a similar injury or vehicle damage like your situation, however, it does not mean you will recover the same amount of compensation.
While there are many forms of compensation that may be available in a hit and run accident claim, they are generally categorized as such:
These are damages that have a definitive qualitative value, such as:
Medical expenses – If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a hit and run crash, you could be eligible for funds to pay for past, present, and future medical costs related to the accident. This could include ambulance services, hospital bills, doctor visits, medical devices needed, transportation to-and-from medical appointments, and any rehabilitative treatments needed for the future.
Lost wages – If you were forced to miss work as a result of an injury from a hit and run collision, you could be eligible to recover any lost wages or other benefits you would have gained, had you not been injured. If you lost a loved one in a hit and run crash, surviving family members who depended on the deceased victim’s income, could pursue compensation for past lost wages and loss of future wages.
Property damage – If your vehicle was damaged or totaled in a hit and run collision, you could recover these losses. However, it is important to have your attorney investigate the damages, so you can pursue the full amount of compensation you may deserve for your vehicle.
Serious hit and run accident victims often endure lengthy periods of physical pain and emotional suffering as a result. Some common examples of non-economic damages may include:
Pain and suffering – Victims who were injured in a hit and run crash and suffered physically and emotionally as a result, could be compensated for pain and suffering. This could include suffering at the time of the crash and during the recovery period. It is important to keep a personal medical journal to document all your pain and suffering, noting any improvements or setbacks regarding your condition. Your journal could be submitted as evidence of your pain and suffering when you file your personal injury claim.
Loss of companionship – Surviving family members who lost a loved one in a hit and run accident could be eligible for funds due to loss of companionship. For example, a child who lost a parent or guardian, or an adult who lost their spouse as a result of the crash.
While these are the more common examples of damages that may be available in a hit and run crash claim, there could be other ways you could seek additional forms of compensation, depending on the details of your case. If your claim has merit, a knowledgeable attorney from our firm could help you explore your legal options.
Let a Knowledgeable Lawyer Guide You Through the Process
If you or someone you love was the victim of a hit and run crash in West Palm Beach, we highly recommend discussing your claim with a knowledgeable lawyer from Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers. Call us anytime 24/7 to schedule a no-cost, initial evaluation of your claim. There are no obligations required and the details regarding your claim are kept completely confidential.
Let our reputable team of legal professionals point you in the right direction so you can pursue the full and fair amount of financial compensation you may legally deserve.
Call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today at (561) 800-8000 or get started by filling out a free case evaluation form on our website.