West Palm Beach Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, hit-and-run crashes have surged in the state. This follows the overall pattern of rising car accidents in Florida. In 2021, there were over 108,000 hit-and-run accidents throughout Florida. This number is higher than the amount of these accidents before the pandemic. What is even more alarming is that the number of fatalities from these crashes is on the rise. In 2021, 304 people lost their lives in these accidents.
The Different Types of Hit-and-Run Accidents
Hit-and-run accidents are any type of incident in which a driver strikes someone else, regardless of their mode of transportation. They can include:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
In fact, more than half of hit-and-run fatalities in the state are pedestrians. Bicyclists also make up a large proportion of these fatalities and injuries.
The state of Florida runs awareness campaigns urging drivers to remain at the scene of an accident. The rising number of these incidents shows that these campaigns are not working.
Why Drivers May Flee the Scene of an Accident
Drivers have a legal obligation to stop and remain at the scene of an accident, whether they have struck a car, motorcyclist, or pedestrian. They must provide their drivers’ license and insurance information. For whatever reason, they may not stop at the scene of the accident, in spite of the fact that it is a criminal offense that could lead to jail if they are caught. Drivers may:
- Not have insurance
- Not have a driver’s license
- Have arrests warrants against them
- Be intoxicated and afraid of being criminally charged with DUI
Common Hit-and-Run Accident Injuries
Regardless of the reason the accident occurs, being the victim of a hit-and-run crash can change your life. These accidents can cause the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Hit-and-run accidents can be even more dangerous than the average car accident. They usually occur at a higher speed and involve some form of reckless driving, meaning that you may suffer more serious injuries as the accident victim.
You May Be Entitled To Financial Compensation in a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you may still be entitled to recover financial compensation for the damages that you have suffered.
After a hit-and-run accident, the first thing to do at the scene is to call the police. They will show up at the scene and document the fact that you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Once you receive an accident report showing that you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you will want to try to locate the at-fault driver.
Typically, this will include looking to see if there is video footage or witnesses to the accident that got the drivers license plate number. If the hit-and-run driver is unable to be located, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries, if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Dealing with hit-and run-accidents can be complicated and you need to act quickly to help ensure that potential evidence does not disappear.
Dealing with your own insurance company is not any easier than dealing with another driver’s insurer. Your insurance company has the same exact goals as any insurance company. It does not matter that you have paid premiums to the insurance company for years. When the time comes to get money from them, they treat you the same as anyone else. The rule of thumb is that they want to delay and discount your claim as much as possible.
Damages in a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you are entitled to damages, you need to fight to secure the fair amount of compensation for your injuries. Therefore, you should have an attorney who knows the value of your claim and is on the lookout for the tactics that insurance companies use to keep you from getting the money that you deserve.
In a hit-and-run accident, you may be able to collect the same damages from your insurance company as you could in any other case. These damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages for time that you have missed from work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
However, the insurance company will likely make you a low first offer. They are hoping that you do not know the value of your case and will take whatever lowball offer they make because you are excited to get an offer of money. Do not do that. You may be leaving money on the table when you let the insurance company off the hook early in settlement negotiations without seeing whether they have more room to raise their offer (tip: they usually do).
An experienced attorney can help value your case to determine its proper worth. They will help keep the insurance company from putting one over on you. If the settlement offer is too low, they will advise you to reject the insurance company’s offer and counter with one of your own, or file a lawsuit to seek fair compensation.
If the driver involved in the hit-and-run is eventually found, you would file a claim against their auto insurance. If not, you will have to seek compensation from your own insurance company. You should not settle for less than your case is worth to get a quick and guaranteed check.
Call a West Palm Beach Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, we may be able to help. You should contact JustCallMoe today to get the legal process started. You can message us online or call us at 866-225-5663 to schedule your free initial consultation.
Hit-and-Run Accident Case FAQs
How much will an attorney cost for my case?
You do not need to pay anything upfront. We receive a percentage of your settlement or jury award if you win your case. If we don’t recover money for you, we don’t get paid!
What happens if I get a settlement offer?
Typically, you do not want to accept the first settlement offer as it is usually a low offer to see if you will accept quick money instead of fair compensation. While every case is different, you want to ensure that you are fighting to receive the compensation you deserve. You should always consult with an attorney to determine whether the offer presented is in your best interest.
How long will my case take?
No attorney can state exactly how long your case will take. If your case is resolved prior to going to court, it may take only a matter of months. Cases that proceed to trial, typically, take years.
Florida Auto Accident Lawyer
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When you've been injured in an accident, you're likely dealing with much more than just your injuries and property damage. Dealing with your insurance claim can be an added stressor that you shouldn't have to worry about. When you call us, we'll take the burden of dealing with the insurance companies off your shoulders. We'll deal with the insurance company, so you can focus on getting better.About Us Play Video