Pursuing compensation after any car accident can be challenging, but the problems multiply when the other driver flees the accident scene. Unfortunately, this happens all too often in Miami.
If you or your loved one suffered serious injuries or significant damage to your car because of a hit-and-run driver, the car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine are ready to help you. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for a no-cost legal consultation with a hit-and-run accident and injury lawyer in Miami, FL.
We can speak with you about your hit-and-run accident and discuss the legal options available for you to recover compensation for your damages.
Why Drivers Leave an Accident Scene
In Florida, hit-and-run drivers usually flee the scene of an accident because they do not have a valid driver’s license or auto insurance. In some cases, hit-and-run drivers do not want to have contact with the police because they have a warrant out for their arrest, or they may have been driving under the influence of drugs. This scenario is also common in drunk driving accidents.
A driver might get out of their vehicle to briefly speak with the other driver about the crash or see how much – if any – damage occurred. However, they will more than likely refuse to exchange personal and insurance information with the other driver, which Florida law requires all drivers to do at an accident scene.
For a free legal consultation with a hit and run accidents lawyer serving Miami, 800-747-3733
Leaving an Accident Scene Is a Crime in Florida
Under state law, hit-and-run drivers can face criminal charges if they flee the scene of an accident involving property damage, serious bodily injury, or death. Drivers who leave an accident scene involving a death could even face felony charges.
Penalties can include jail time, fines, and a suspended or revoked license. If the offending driver is caught, they could face criminal proceedings. If so, we could use the driver’s criminal case to prove your hit-and-run accident occurred and support your request for compensation.
Drivers have a duty to remain at the accident scene and:
- Provide their name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other driver
- Show a driver’s license or permit at the other driver’s request
- Provide the same information to police officers investigating the crash
- Provide “reasonable assistance” to anyone injured in the crash, which includes requesting emergency assistance if a victim needs to take an ambulance from the accident scene.
If a police officer does not respond to the scene, either driver involved in the accident must go to the nearest law enforcement office to report the crash.
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How Do I Recover Compensation in a Hit-and-Run Accident?
You can recover compensation for your damages with your personal injury protection (PIP) policy and your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. We can help you file your PIP claim and review your auto insurance policy to determine if you have UM/UIM coverage.
Recovering Damages from Your PIP Policy
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means your auto insurer will pay for some of your damages, regardless of who caused an accident.
Florida’s no-fault insurance law requires all drivers to have a PIP policy offering at least $10,000 in coverage. If you seek treatment within 14 days of your crash, your PIP policy pays:
- 80 percent of your medical expenses, up to the policy limit
- 60 percent of your lost wages or income
- $5,000 in death benefits
If your medical bills exceed your policy limit, we can discuss other options available for you to pursue compensation.
Seeking Damages From Your UM/UIM Policy
Florida law does not mandate that vehicle owners carry UM/UIM coverage, but auto insurers must offer this option to policyholders. UM/UIM coverage is equal to the amount of your policy liability limits.
If you purchased this optional coverage, UM allows you to pursue compensation from your own insurance company when a driver causes an accident and does not have auto insurance. UIM protects you when a driver has auto insurance but not enough to cover your damages. Your UM/UIM policy should cover you after a hit-and-run accident.
Pursuing Compensation From the Hit-and-Run Driver
If the police discover the identity of the hit-and-run driver, you may make a car insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit against that individual for damages. This applies if you suffered serious injuries in the accident.
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We Can Help You File an Accident Claim
We will help you file an insurance claim with your auto insurer. Even though you have a right to file a claim, this does not mean that your insurance will automatically cut you a check. Insurers – including your own – want proof that the accident actually occurred.
We will help you prove that you sustained injuries in a hit-and-run accident and that the driver violated Florida’s law by failing to stop and exchange information with you. We may do this by obtaining:
- Your medical records detailing the nature and severity of your injuries
- Hospital costs if you were hospitalized after the accident
- A police report of the accident
- Eyewitness testimony
- Traffic camera video or surveillance camera video from a nearby business
- Car repair receipts
- Funeral and burial costs, if your loved one died in the car accident
We collect this and other evidence to show that the hit-and-run driver’s negligence caused an injury accident, and you suffered damages.
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Negotiating Your Insurance Claim
Insurance companies are known for saving money, not paying out settlements. Our firm’s attorneys have extensive experience negotiating fair settlement claims on behalf of injury accident victims.
When an insurance company denies a car accident claim or fails to negotiate a fair settlement, we will speak with you about filing a lawsuit to resolve your case.
Hit-and-Run Lawsuits Have a Filing Deadline in Florida
If you are considering taking legal action after a hit-and-run accident in Miami, you have a limited time to do it. As Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a) says, you generally have four years from the date of the accident to sue for damages. If you are filing on behalf of a loved one who died in a hit-and-run accident, you generally have two years from their death to file a lawsuit, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(b).
Having two to four years to file legal action is considerable time, but we encourage you to file as soon as you can to protect your right to sue and give your attorney the time they need to build a strong compensation case for you. Hit-and-run cases also have time-sensitive elements that you need to consider. Among them are:
Witness testimony. It is important to speak with people who saw your accident soon after it happens. They are more likely to forget key details and information as time passes. This will likely make their testimony unreliable, which can weaken your evidence.
Camera/video footage. Video surveillance can expire after a certain period. It may be deleted or recorded. Either way, you may not be able to get the footage you need to prove that your accident happened or how it happened. An attorney may be able to retrieve this footage for you if they have enough time to do so.
Injury reports. You should report your hit-and-run injuries and losses as soon as possible. Delayed medical attention can make it harder for you to prove the hit-and-run accident caused your injuries or property damage.
Our Miami hit-and-run accident lawyer will file your case on time. The sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can begin working for you.
We Can Start on Your Case Without You Paying Us Up Front
Personal injury victims are often stretched thin financially between trying to pay medical bills and missing income because they’re not working while recovering from their injuries. We do not want to add to that burden, nor do we want to discourage people from seeking legal help because of their money situation.
We are a contingency firm, which means if we agree to work on your case, we do so at no charge to you up front. We can start work on your case as soon as we work out the details, which we review thoroughly with each client.
We receive our fee only if we recover a settlement or court-ordered award for you. If we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything. We can review this further with you and answer any questions you have during your free consultation with our team.
Let Us Help You Recover Compensation for Your Miami Hit-and-Run Car Accident
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you pursue compensation for your losses after a hit-and-run accident. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 to schedule a no-cost consultation with a member of our Miami legal team.
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