When another car hits yours and then the driver flees, it is one of the most disheartening moments. And, as a Miami Beach car accident lawyer knows, it adds insult to injury as you wonder who will pay for your damages after a hit and run accident.
In this article, we will discuss your rights and legal options in light of the new laws applicable to car accidents in Florida. Let us start with the steps you must take after the crash:
Report the Accident and Remain at the Scene
In the heat of the moment, you may be tempted to chase the other driver and make them stop. Don’t do it. They could be armed, under the influence of drugs, or fleeing a previous crime scene. It’s not worth risking your life.
Instead, choose to follow your legal obligations by reporting the accident to the police and staying at the crash scene until the law enforcement officers come to investigate.
Notify Your Insurance Company
You must also remember to inform your insurance company about the hit-and-run car accident. Despite the fact that Florida has become a comparative negligence state, drivers are still required to carry PIP insurance.
Therefore, you must inform the insurer within the specific deadline applicable to your policy. Each company has its own rules in this respect.
Note Any Details You Can Remember about the Other Car
A car crash happens in an instant and leaves you in shock. Thus, you may not have the presence of mind to take out your phone and film or photograph the other car as it is speeding away.
However, try to write down every detail you noted:
- The color
- The make and model
- The partial license plate number.
The police officers who investigate the crash may also find useful evidence, such as paint chips or CCTV camera footage that recorded the crash or just the other car after the driver left the accident scene.
Look for Eyewitnesses
To maximize your chances of identifying the other driver, look for any eyewitnesses. Some people can memorize a license plate from the first glance. Others could have been taking photos or filming something and caught clear images of the entire event, or even of the driver’s face or the license plate number.
Go to the Nearest Hospital
You must not ignore your injuries after a hit and run accident. A Miami Beach car accident attorney knows that you will need to prove your damages when filing your PIP claim or in the situation when the other driver is identified and you sue them.
Is It Possible to Get Compensation after a Hit and Run Accident?
Many hit and run drivers remain undiscovered. However, the police and your lawyer will work diligently to find them and make sure they are held liable for their reckless disregard for your life.
It is important to know that you won’t be burdened with all the medical care costs and lost wages even if the hit and run driver is not found. You can still file a PIP claim insurance and get these damages covered partially out of your own insurance coverage.
Remember that the Statute of Limitations Is Now Shorter in Florida
Finally, do not delay seeking legal assistance after the accident. Among other changes to Florida laws in 2023, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases was reduced from 4 (four) years to 2 (two) years.
Call an Experienced Miami Beach Car Accident Lawyer
A hit and run accident may leave you confused as to your chances to get compensation. An experienced Miami Beach car accident lawyer will help you take the best course of action – first by helping you file a PIP claim and later by representing you in a claim against the other driver if they are found.
Since we offer each new client a free case review, you have nothing to lose, so call us today at (786) 686-2857!