It's not a happy thought, but imagine that you've been injured in a car accident. Now imagine that the other driver involved in the accident leaves the scene without identifying themselves or waiting for police to arrive.
When an at-fault driver is unidentified because of a hit and run accident, it can make recovering compensation for injuries or damages very challenging. Hit and run accidents happen too frequently - in Florida during 2015 there were more than 92,000 hit and run crashes! (Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles) These accidents resulted in more than 19,000 injuries and 186 fatalities. Often the driver leaves the accident scene to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drug charges.
Florida Law Requires that Drivers Stop if Involved in an Accident
In Florida, it's illegal for a driver to leave the scene of an accident on either public or private property that involves death or injury. All involved drivers must:
- Remain at the scene.
- Share identification information with police and other involved drivers including name and address, car registration and insurance information.
- Give assistance for those injured including calling 911 for emergency medical help.
If a driver doesn't comply and leaves the scene, it's a hit and run and a felony offense. A convicted driver can lose their license for 3 or more years and may even receive a prison sentence.
How To Handle It if You Are in a Hit and Run Accident
It might be difficult or even impossible, but try to remain calm if you are involved in any car accident. It's even more important to stay calm if the other driver has left the scene.
Your first priority is to get medical help for you and anyone else who may have been injured in the accident. It's very important to call police so they will complete a police report.
There is a lot of information that you can gather that can help your insurance company as well as help the police track down the other driver:
- Make notes of any observations you made about the other car. Try for make, model, color, licensing state, plate number and vehicle condition.
- Record location and time of accident along with road and weather conditions.
- Take lots of photos of the scene and the damage to your car.
- Ask witnesses for their names and contact information.
Don't under any circumstances pursue a driver who may have been involved in your accident to avoid retaliation.
We Can Help You Get a Fair Settlement in a Hit and Run Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in a hit and run accident or any other type of personal injury, you may be able to get compensation for your injuries. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Tony Francis, personal injury attorney at The Francis Law Group in Orlando, will fight to get you the compensation that you and your family deserve. You can reach us at 407-363-9939 or contact us via the website