Hit and Run Accidents
A hit and run happens when a driver fails to stay at the scene of a crash after colliding with another vehicle, property, or a pedestrian. Motorists involved in an accident have the duty to stop their cars at the scene, notify the other people involved of their driver's license and registration, and render assistance if anyone else is injured. Failure to follow these requirements is a crime. If you are the victim of a hit and run in the Ocala area, it is possible that the other driver will never be found. However, the experienced car crash attorneys of the Dean Law Firm can help improve your chances of recovery.Pursuing Compensation After a Hit and Run
In some cases, a person flees the scene of an accident in the knowledge that he or she was at fault. For example, a drunk driver may be scared of being asked to take a Breathalyzer and the criminal consequences of getting caught.
The police may ask you to give a physical description of the car and the motorist. If the driver who struck you is found, you can sue him or her for your injuries. You will need to prove the driver's liability, which usually arises from careless rather than intentional conduct. As in other accidents involving negligence, you will need to show the hit and run driver's duty of care, a breach of the duty, actual and proximate causation, and quantifiable damages. If the defendant is also convicted of a DUI, you may be able to bring a cause of action for negligence per se, in which the first two elements of duty and breach are inferred. This applies when a person breaks a safety statute and harms someone whom the law is intended to protect.
Although it is possible the hit and run driver will be found, you should file a claim with your own insurance provider without delay. In Florida's no-fault system, all motorists have to carry a mandatory minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability. When someone is hurt in a car accident, that person's own insurance will cover a certain amount of the medical bills regardless of fault. When a victim has only minor injuries, it does not necessarily matter for purposes of recovery that the other driver has left the scene without exchanging information.
However, if you are seriously hurt in an accident, you may have grounds to sue an at-fault driver for additional damages not covered by your policy. When this individual leaves the scene without giving you contact information and is never found, your only recourse may be to make an uninsured motorist claim against your own insurance policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage stands in the shoes of a hit and run driver and pays certain damages that he or she would have paid had he or she stopped instead of fleeing. This type of insurance can apply to your situation not only if you are injured as a passenger car driver, but also if you are in a hit and run accident as pedestrian.
All Florida insurance companies are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage. To refuse the coverage, you must sign a form that shows you are aware of the option but refuse to buy it. Since PIP provides limited coverage, it is wise to purchase uninsured motorist coverage so that, at the very least, your medical bills and lost earnings can be compensated in the event of a hit and run or an underinsured driver.Seek Advice from an Auto Accident Attorney in Ocala
Victims of serious auto accidents near Ocala or the surrounding area should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Dean Law Firm. It can be difficult to get your life back on track after a crash that causes devastating harm. The Dean Law Firm has the skill and tenacity to assert your right to compensation, whether you are from Crystal River, The Villages, or elsewhere in Marion, Lake, Levy, Sumter, or Citrus Counties. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or via our online form for a free consultation.