Unfortunately, a car accident usually happens when you least expect it, and many of us are often in a state of shock immediately afterwards. While you can take certain precautions to drive safely and avoid being involved in a crash, it is critical to understand the necessary steps you need to take after a hit and run accident. You may need the help of a legal professional to notify you of your legal options.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our team of legal professionals aims to protect the rights of hit and run accident victims in Palm Beach Gardens and throughout the state of Florida (by appointment only). If you or a loved one was the victim of a hit and run crash, contact our firm today to speak with a licensed lawyer to learn your legal options.
Victims of hit and run accidents could be eligible for financial compensation to cover past, present, and future costs related to the crash. Depending on the details of your situation, you may have the legal right to recover funds for medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, and property damage.
However, as the plaintiff, it is up to you and your lawyer to take certain steps to build a strong case in your favor. Having an experienced attorney review your claim could help protect your rights to seek the full and fair amount of compensation you may legally deserve. Read on to learn how you could help improve your chances of recovering the proper amount of funds you may need to make a complete and healthy recovery.
What is a Hit and Run Crash?
A hit and run crash can occur while you are in your vehicle or while your vehicle is parked, and you are not present. Regardless of the situation, if you or your vehicle was struck by another driver who fled the scene of the accident, you could recover funds for your damages and financial losses related to the crash.
Florida law requires all drivers to stop and provide their name, license, registration, insurance, and contact information, in the event of an accident. Even if the other driver was not present, the at-fault driver is required to leave a visible note, with his or her information, attached to the damaged vehicle.
Drivers who are found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident without providing their information, could face stiff penalties and possible jail time in Florida. This especially is true if the at-fault driver caused serious injuries and failed to offer assistance to the injured victims.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Crash
After experiencing a hit and run crash, it is important to remain calm and take these steps to ensure the safety of your health and protect the value of your claim:
Seek Medical Help
If you or someone you know was injured in a hit and run accident, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Even if the injuries may seem mild at first, some car accident injuries can take several days and sometimes weeks before you start feeling symptoms.
If you refuse an immediate medical examination after sustaining a hit and run car crash injury, the insurance companies may try to deny your compensation demands. Insurers may say that your injuries were caused by something other than what you claim, and you may be left with paying for your own medical treatments out-of-pocket.
Report the Crash
While you may not want to have the police involved with an accident, it is important to notify the proper authorities and obtain a copy of the police report. Having an accident report adds more credibility to your case when negotiating with insurers, and it could help the police find the perpetrator.
Since Florida is considered a no-fault auto insurance state, you will need to use your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover the initial costs of your damages. Be sure to investigate the details of your insurance policy, as some companies may have a stipulation that disqualifies your coverage if you fail to report the accident to the local authorities.
After a hit and run collision, it is crucial that you obtain as much evidence as possible to prove your claim. Having substantial evidence that backs your claim is an important key to getting the proper amount of compensation you may need to make a full recovery. Having a quality attorney investigate the accident scene, including your vehicle, is highly recommended.
Be sure to take photos of your injuries and damage to both vehicles, if possible. Look around to see if there are any surveillance or traffic cameras that may have captured the crash as it occurred in real time. Your lawyer may be able to help obtain a copy of the video footage to help support your claim.
If you or your loved one sustained an injury in a hit and run crash, be sure to retain copies of all medical documentation including medical bills and diagnostic reports, such as X-Rays, CT scans, MRI’s, etc. You should also keep a personal medical journal to document your pain and suffering after the accident and during your recovery. All these kinds of documentation could be used as valuable evidence to help bolster your claim and determine the cost of your injuries.
Record Witness Information
While having enough evidence to prove your claim is crucial, having credible witnesses vouch for you could have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Be sure to check the accident scene and ask if anyone saw the accident as it occurred. Write down their names and contact information, as your lawyer may want to interview them later and may even ask them to testify in court. You can also ask a potential witness if you can record them on video as they provide a statement on the events leading up to the accident.
Call an Attorney with Experience
Sometimes, proving a hit and run accident case can be difficult without the help of a licensed attorney who has experience working with cases like yours. This is why we recommend contacting one of our skilled lawyers from our firm if you or someone you care about was the victim of a hit and run crash. Accident victims who decide to hire a lawyer, usually win larger settlement amounts as opposed to those who choose to represent themselves.
Let an Accomplished Lawyer Help You Fight for Your Rights
Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers have more than four decades of combined legal experience defending the rights of hit and run accident victims in Florida. Our accomplished lawyers are standing by to offer you a free, first-time evaluation of your hit and run accident claim. Let our reputable attorneys help you hold the at-fault party liable for your damages so you can pursue the rightful amount of compensation you may legally deserve.
Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers never settle for less when we fight for the rights of our clients. Call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers any day of the week, 24/7, at (561) 800-8000.
You can also fill out a free online form or chat with one of our friendly online representatives to get started from the comfort and safety of your own home.