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Hit And Run Miami Law Victim Rights

Understanding what remedies you have as a victim of a hit and run, is essential in any personal injury case. What happens if you or someone you know is the victim of a hit and run? Hiring an attorney specializing in car accident and car crash cases will help you hold perpetrators accountable and win the money damages you deserve. Find out how an expert lawyer can help your case and what your next steps should be. 

Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime. It’s something you see in the news or on TV.

Real-life hit-and-run accidents and crashes happen every day. Recently the Florida government announced that hit-and-run crashes are on the rise. In 2021, there were over 108,000 hit-and-run accidents.

Those accidents and crashes injured 1176 people and killed 304. These are not victimless crimes. The implications of a car crash and the aftermath are some of the main reasons the authorities stress the importance of staying on the scene after an accident or crash

For most of us, staying after an accident is easy enough because it’s the right thing to do. But, on top of that, leaving the scene sometimes triggers jail time and hefty fines.

But not everyone, as seen by the numbers, feels the same way. Hit-and-run accidents and crashes are a significant problem that can cause people enormous trouble. There are medical bills, lost income, PTSD, pain and suffering and other effects that someone can experience from a hit and run crash.

Let’s look at hit and run Miami law and what rights you have if you are a victim of a hit and run crash.

Why People Leave the Scene of an Accident or a Crash

The bottom line is that leaving the scene of an accident is inexcusable. But some reasons as why people leave the scene of a crash include:

  • Driving without a license
  • Driving under the influence
  • Concerns about legal consequences
  • Stolen vehicle
  • Driving reckless and/or negligent

These are just some of the reasons. Regardless, Florida law strictly prohibits hit-and-run accidents and crashes.

Hit and Runs By the Numbers

According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department, there were 108,155 hit-and-run accidents in 2021.

That’s more than 15,000 more incidents last year than the year prior.

Of the 304 fatalities, 169 were pedestrians, and 45 were cyclists. So, even though these incidents happen on freeways, the most significant impacts are felt in communities where people are walking, children are playing, and people are riding their bikes.

Many hit-and-run accidents receive treatment as homicide cases. In 2021, 131 of the fatalities are in the Homicide Investigation Tracking System. Of those, 91 cases are still active.

As you can see, even the police have difficulty tracking down perpetrators and charging them with crimes. Sometimes it takes time to find out who the offender is and hold them accountable.

Hit and Run Miami Law Basics

Florida law dictates that a driver must stop at the scene of a crash on any road immediately. It states that it includes public and private property. Therefore, any accident that causes damage, injury, or death falls under this law.

Leaving the scene of an accident is a felony and carries serious charges. If a driver is charged and found guilty of a hit-and-run crime, they face license suspension for at least three years, and there is a potential mandatory minimum prison sentence of four years.

On top of criminal charges, offenders also face potential civil charges for their actions. Victims pursue money damages to aid in their recovery. They also need compensation to repair vehicles, replace lost income, and pay for pain and suffering as a result of the incident which effects can last their life time.

When You Can’t Find the Driver – Hit and Run Miami Law

As you can tell by the number of 2021 hit-and-run homicide cases without any charges pressed yet, sometimes it’s impossible to find the driver.

Police comb through public and private video footage, take witness statements, and takedown a vehicle description to try and narrow in on suspects, but sometimes the task proves impossible.

What happens when you can’t find the person that hit you or someone you know and fled the scene? In those cases, the only thing you can do is file an insurance claim.

Some insurance policies, like Florida’s Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, have up to $10,000 of coverage for immediate medical expenses. That’s nice, but we know, though, that medical costs in a serious car accident can significantly exceed that amount.

For example, injuries are typically severe when a car hits a pedestrian. It’s easy to rack up a bill of $10,000 on your first trip in an ambulance to the emergency room.

When you exceed the PIP coverage in a car accident, the only other option is to use your uninsured motorist coverage on your policy if the person isn’t found. However, not everyone has this option. That is why its critical and important that people carry this uninsured motorist coverage to protect them in order to appropriately file a claim after a crash.

What You Should Do After an Accident According to Hit and Run Miami Law

So, knowing what you know now, what should you do?

You probably understand now that hit-and-run accidents happen way more than most people think. And, you realize that the chances aren’t great that perpetrators will be caught.

So, how can you protect yourself and increase the odds of holding the driver responsible and getting the compensation you deserve?

Here are some tips on things you should do immediately after you’re hit.

Tip 1 – Stay Calm & Safe

Move out of the road to safety if possible. If you can’t move, ask someone for help if you can. You don’t want to be lying on the street in traffic. It’s easy to go into shock or panic after a hit-and-run accident or crash. While this is totally understandable, it will affect your ability to follow the next steps.

Tip 2 – Call 911

Talk to the police ask them to send someone to the scene. Request medical attention as well. Don’t brush off any injuries because your body in shock will fool you into thinking you’re OK when you’re hurt. Instead, wait for the authorities to arrive.

Tip 3 – Take Pictures & Video

Most people have smartphones now, which are great for gathering evidence at the scene. Take pictures and videos of your car, the area, your injuries, and describe what happened. Of course, if you can take a picture of the vehicle that hit you, that will help your case immensely.

Tip 4 – Ask for Witness Statements

Hopefully, other people in the area will see what happened and are willing to go on the record as a witness. Then, they can talk to police when they arrive and hit and run Miami law makes their statements permissible in court.

Tip 5 – Speak to a Hit and Run Attorney

Time is of the essence after a car accident or crash. Unfortunately, the police and other people involved in your treatment are busy. They will be most responsive in the immediate aftermath of your incident. When leads go dry for several months, and they can’t find the car or driver matching a description, then your chances of holding that person accountable and winning damages dwindle.

It would help if you had a lawyer specializing in hit-and-run accidents who could immediately assist you. The right lawyer will chase down leads, access public and private records to find the driver, and know ways to hold them accountable in civil cases.

Hiring a Hit and Run Lawyer in Miami

Most reputable law firms offer free consultations to victims of crimes. It’s important to discuss the details of what happened in these meetings to agree on whether or not you have a case and what the next steps should be.

Schedule an appointment with a local firm and talk to them about what you need to do to pursue a personal injury case. It’s the best way to hold offenders accountable and win compensation to cover medical costs and other expenses related to your injuries.

Leighton Law is a leading law firm based in Florida with years of experience representing victims and winning landmark settlements and judgments. We’re here to offer you the support you and your family need after an accident or crash. Find out how our team can help you in your time of need and get started on your case today.

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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