Drivers may face serious consequences if they leave the scene of an automobile crash that has led to injuries or death. If you have suffered injuries in a hit and run accident, you may need professional legal help to seek justice and get compensated to cover your losses.
It is important for all persons involved in an automobile accident to identify themselves to the other drivers or pedestrians. After a crash, exchanging insurance-related information is critical to ensuring that everyone involved in the accident can obtain automobile insurance coverage to cover their costs associated with any automobile or property damage.
Based on the type of the crash, the at-fault driver (or his/her insurer) may be held accountable for covering medical expenses for accident-related injuries. Leaving the accident scene without sharing contact information, also called a hit and run, can result in severe repercussions for the at-fault person, including possible criminal and civil penalties.
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Hit and Run Crashes in the U.S.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of hit and run crash cases is constantly increasing across the country. In 2018 alone, one in every five pedestrians died in automobile crashes, involving hit and run drivers. Hit and run accidents can lead to substantial property and/or automobile damage as well as personal injuries to other inviduals involved.
The financial strain of such mishaps can be grave, and without the proper information of the at-fault party, it could be really tough for the injured parties to get insurance support and cover their medical expenses.
Why Do Car Drivers Flee the Accident Scene?
This is one question often asked by sufferers of hit and run crashes. Here are some possible reasons why this happens.
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving while texting
- Having road rage
- Lacking a valid driver’s license
- Being uninsured
- Fear of consequences
- Being unsure of whether or not the collision happened
Under motor vehicle accident regulations, none of the reasons above justify leaving an accident scene without stopping to handle the situation.
Except for seeking emergency medical care for a severe health condition, any other reason for prematurely leaving a crash scene may be considered as a felony or misdemeanor, often resulting in revoked driver’s license, hefty fines, and even imprisonment.
Types of Hit and Run Injuries
Car and truck crashes can cause severe harms to other drivers and pedestrians involved. Stopping in order to provide aid is mandatory by law in many states. If someone fails to do, their act may be seen as a crime.
Common injuries in hit and run accidents are:
- Lacerations and cuts
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
Injuries due to hit and run crashes may need quick medical attention. Based on the severity of injuries, this can result in hefty hospital expenses as well as rehabilitation and continuing care costs.
Steps to Take after a Hit & Run Accident
After getting involved in a car accident, the instinctive flight response of most drivers is to leave the scene. But, this often works against them. In most cases, leaving the scene of a crash is considered illegal and may leave injured people with risk for considerable harm. If you ever get involved in a hit and run crash, you must follow the steps below:
- Seek Medical Care: Soon after a crash, it is necessary to seek medical care to attend any resulting injuries. Severe harms like head trauma may need immediate care to avoid aggravated outcomes. If you are harmed in a hit and run crash, call 9-1-1 immediately to get the emergency medical assistance. They can attend your injuries, arrange transportation to a hospital (if required), and get the police on the accident scene.
- Document the Crash: Once you have checked yourself as well as other people involved in the crash for possible injuries, start documenting the accident details. Here’s what you should include:
- Date and time of the incident
- Weather conditions
- License plate of the at-fault driver (if possible)
- Location of the accident scene
- Resulting injury
- Damage to the vehicle
Police officers at the scene may collect extra information like photographs of the crash scene and witness statements, particularly if you are not in a condition to do so on your own. A police report can be a valuable piece of evidence in a criminal or civil lawsuit.
It is strongly suggested that you collect contact details of witnesses (if any) or other people involved in the crash. If you want to file a criminal lawsuit against the at-fault driver, such people may back your version of the event in court.
- Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Florida: Before you contact your automobile insurer, consider calling your personal injury lawyer in Clermont, Florida to discuss your case. A seasoned hit and run accident attorney can review your case to find out your possible legal options, and aid you in preparing a statement to be presented to your insurance company.
Whether or not you will receive compensation from your insurer, without any information of at-fault driver, depends on state laws and several other factors.
Some states like Florida have uninsured motorist laws that may allow you to seek compensation even when you don’t have the at-fault driver’s insurance information. Nevertheless, seeking expert assistance in such situations is strongly suggested so as to obtain the maximum settlement amount possible.
Compensation in Hit and Run Accidents
If you have sustained injuries in a hit and run accident case, you may be entitled to get compensation by filing a civil lawsuit or claim.
Cases of such types that go to trial in civil courts may award fiscal damages to the sufferer of a hit and run accident, to compensate for their physical, emotional, and monetary losses.
Types of damages possible in hit and run crash cases:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Critical or permanent injury (such as, disfigurement)
- Medical equipment or devices
- Suffering and pain
- Mental trauma
- Property damage
Hit and run damages are awarded on the basis of the kind of personal injury and/or property damage as well as the nature of the crash. An experienced hit and run accident attorney can help you determine the types and amount of compensation you may be eligible for.
Contact MANGAL, PLLC to Represent Your Hit and Run Accident Case
At MNAGAL, PLLC, our qualified personal injury lawyers in Clermont, Florida are committed to bringing justice to the sufferers of hit and run accidents. They can help you by:
- Figuring out your possible options for legal recourse
- Gathering medical records, police reports, and other evidence to strengthen the case
- Communicating with your insurer on your behalf
- Ensuring faster fiscal recovery by helping you get the compensation you deserve
Reach out to us today to schedule a case evaluation with one of our personal injury attorneys to discuss your case at length.