Like most states, Florida requires motorists involved in an accident to report the crash to police, remain at the scene, and render aid if necessary. Unfortunately, not everyone follows these rules. This failure to obey the law can leave an accident victim feeling angry and betrayed, especially if the accident caused severe or fatal injuries.
Fortunately, Florida offers protections for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists injured in hit-and-run accidents. A hit-and-run accident and injury lawyer in Melbourne, FL can help you navigate this process.
Paying for Damages After a Melbourne Hit-and-Run Accident
Paying for medical expenses and property damage is always a car accident victim’s primary concern. This process becomes more complex when you are involved in a Melbourne hit-and-run accident. In most accidents, you would have the opportunity to collect damages from the other driver’s insurance company. But a hit-and-run gives you no opportunity to do that.
However, Florida’s no-fault law does allow you to recover compensation from several potential sources, depending on your insurance policy.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
You will first turn to your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or no-fault coverage to pay for part of your medical bills and lost wages. However, this only covers $10,000 for both medical bills and lost wages. To recover further damages, you can (if you opted to purchase it) turn to your uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (UM coverage).
What UM Coverage Pays For
UM policies typically cover drivers involved in accidents with drivers who do not carry the minimum insurance or do not have insurance at all. But UM is also useful in hit-and-run accidents as your insurer will treat the situation as though it involved an uninsured driver.
UM coverage pays out damages exceeding your insurance policy’s minimum coverages.
The Other Driver’s Insurance Coverage
In some cases, police are able to find the hit-and-run driver. If this happens, we will approach your case as a typical accident case. We will prove negligence and determine the value of your case and go after the driver for every last dollar he owes you.
How Much You Can Expect to Collect after a Hit-and-Run Accident
While there is not a set amount of money you can expect, there are damages you can claim following your Melbourne hit-and-run accident. The totals of these damages vary depending on the severity of your accident. The following is a list of damages you can expect:
- Medical expenses: You can recover the total cost of all care related to your accident (up to the limits of your PIP and UM policies, unless officers find the driver). These damages include everything from ambulance fees, hospital visits, appointments with specialists, physical therapy, and more. In more severe cases, you may even collect the cost of long-term medical care.
- Lost wages: Car accidents require many drivers to miss significant time at work. The reasons for missing work vary from needing to make scheduled visits with therapists to your injuries requiring you to miss work entirely to recover. No matter the reasons, you are due wage reimbursement. And if your injuries are severe enough to keep you from returning to work full time (or at all), you could receive damages for lost long-term income and earning potential.
- Miscellaneous costs: You can also recover compensation for miscellaneous costs associated with your injury. These may include gas money to get to and from doctor’s appointments or the expenses related to home or vehicle renovations to accommodate your disability (e.g., widening a doorway for a wheelchair or installing handbrakes on your car).
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering usually makes up a large part of an accident settlement. While you will not recover pain and suffering through your PIP coverage, you may be able to recover it through your UM policy or by suing the driver, if located.
Call a Melbourne Hit-and-Run Accident and Injury Lawyer
These accidents leave their victims scraping for answers and solutions to unexpected injuries and debts. That level of stress is overwhelming enough before wondering if you have a legitimate personal injury claim and whether you might need to hire a car accident lawyer.
The team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine tries to alleviate some of the stress related to hit and runs and recovering the compensation you need to move on from your accident. Our consultations are always free, so you can gather all the information you want with no commitments. And because our personal injury lawyers work with our clients on a contingency basis, we do not collect any money from you unless you collect a settlement.
Call us at 1-800-747-3733 and we will closely examine the details of your case and walk you through your options. Reach out to us today.