Pembroke Pines Hit & Run Accident
If you said “exchange contact information with the at-fault driver,” among other things, you’d be correct. Unfortunately, that is impossible in a hit & run accident as there is no motorist to interact with. Fortunately, you can depend on our hit & run crash attorneys for the next best steps.
While it’s bad enough that hit & run crashes can complicate your injury claim, it’s worse that it keeps increasing. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has recorded at least a 17% increase in hit & run crashes from 2020 to 2021. According to the reports, most fatalities in these crashes involved pedestrians and bicyclists.
Hit-and-run accidents happen for numerous reasons. Regardless of the cause, it’s against the law to cause a crash and disappear without speaking with the other driver. If you were in a crash, you deserve financial compensation to ease your suffering. You also deserve to see the offender caught as soon as possible.
The good news is that our Pembroke Pines hit & run attorneys are here for you (by appointment). We offer the experienced legal help you need for a successful injury claim. Contact us as soon as possible at (561) 800-8000 for more information on how we can help.Why Would a Responsible Party Flee an Accident Scene?
There are many reasons why a motor vehicle may drive away after causing a crash. The most common include:
- Drunk Driving
Many traffic collisions happen because the at-fault driver was drunk. Drunk driving is also one of the most common reasons for leaving the crash site without exchanging insurance information.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a severe crime in Florida. As such, impaired motorists may want to do all they can to avoid law enforcement, including fleeing an accident scene. However, we’ve noticed that many turn themselves in after the drugs or alcohol have cleared their system.
- Driving Without a License
Florida motorists must obtain a driver’s license before operating a motor vehicle. Sadly, a significant number of drivers refuse to obey this critical regulation.
As drunk driving, operating a car without a valid license carries steep penalties, including potential jail time. Erring drivers may leave an accident site prematurely to avoid an arrest.
- Uninsured Motorist
Florida currently occupies the 6th rank among US states with the highest number of uninsured drivers. The state is home to 20.4% of the millions of Americans that drive their vehicles without a valid auto insurance policy. Unfortunately, it is also one of the primary reasons a driver will abandon victims of a car crash they caused.
In Florida, driving without no-fault insurance is illegal, and offenders face severe penalties, including license revocation. No driver wants to be caught breaking the law, so many of them would rather flee the crash scene for this reason.
Everyone is prone to panic after an auto accident in Pembroke Pines. That’s especially true when there are severe injuries or property damage.
Unfortunately, few drivers can deal with the confusion and anxiety that arises from these situations. As such, running may seem to be the only way out of the chaos at that time.
- Outstanding Convictions/Warrants
Motorists who have been in trouble with the law will try to elude law enforcement by any means possible. It's the same thing for drivers who have outstanding warrants. Individuals with a criminal record or prior moving offenses may run away to avoid added points to their licenses.
They know that the points on their license will remain on their record for three years. This carries numerous adverse consequences, including a hard time with insurance companies.
The list of reasons why a motorist will flee a crash site is inexhaustive. Some drivers may run away because they are illegal immigrants or transporting illicit drugs or items.
You may also come across a hit & run motorist fleeing the scene because they were driving their employer’s vehicle. Occasionally, a hit & run driver may not even know they caused an accident.Common Accident Injuries in a Hit & Run Crash
These are the likely injuries you may sustain in a hit & run accident in Pembroke Pines:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Post-traumatic stress disorders
Being in a hit & run accident doesn’t absolve you of your duties in the crash. However, taking the proper steps in such situations improves your chances of finding the at-fault motorist and seeking maximum compensation.
Here’s what to do after a hit-and-run collision in Pembroke Pines:
- Ensure You’re Safe
After a hit & run, the first thing to do is calm yourself down and check that you’re out of harm’s way. If you’re still within danger lines, you must move safely before taking any other step. This ensures that you don’t encounter another accident.
When you’re sure it’s safe, check yourself and other victims for injuries. Next, call for emergency medical assistance.
- Dial 911
Besides calling for medical attention, you must also inform law enforcement about your accident by calling 911. Do this regardless of the severity of your injuries or crash.
Calling law enforcement will enable you to obtain a police report to help in your injury claim against the fleeing motorist. It can also be a requirement to process a settlement from your insurance company.
- Gather Information and Evidence
You’ll need to gather all the information from other passengers and eyewitnesses in the crash. Ask as many questions as possible about the fleeing driver and vehicle. For example, what did the hit & run motorist look like, and in what direction did they run? Additionally, what was the automobile's color, license number, make, and model?
The answers to these questions can help locate the driver. Also, don’t forget to take photos and videos of the crash scene. You should also exchange contact info with any eyewitnesses and passengers.
- Inform Your Insurance Company
Reach out to your insurance provider and inform them about your accident immediately after you leave the accident site. It’s essential to contact them as soon as you can while the events are still fresh in your memory.
Besides reducing your chances of adequate compensation, contacting your insurance company much later will translate to delayed claim submission. Considering the Statute of Limitations, you’ll have less time to work on seeking the best results from your claim.
- Contact Your Auto Crash Attorney
You shouldn’t contemplate handling your hit & run accident case without help from an experienced lawyer. Although it’s not a legal requirement, having an attorney by your side will make your claims process much more manageable.
Your chances of obtaining justice will significantly reduce without our lawyers. As you read on, we’ll discuss the critical roles of our competent Pembroke Pines hit & run attorneys in a car accident case.What Happens if I Can’t Find the Driver?
Law enforcement will try to find the responsible motorist in a hit & run accident. Unfortunately, their efforts may prove futile, and the fleeing driver may escape forever.
The good news is that you can still seek compensation from your auto insurance company. Florida requires mandatory $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Also called “no-fault” insurance, PIP will handle accident-related medical costs and expenses, regardless of who caused the crash. This is unlike an auto liability insurance policy that compensates victims of the accident only. You may also claim your uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance company if your PIP doesn’t cover all your costs.
Our auto accident attorneys can also help find more alternatives to cover your expenses. For example, they may locate other liable parties in your crash after a thorough investigation. They’ll file a claim against them and help you seek compensation if they find any.What If Law Enforcement Finds the Driver?
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find the at-fault motorist early enough. In these cases, you’ll be able to hold them accountable for your injuries.
However, you must remember that Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Therefore, you may only file a claim against the negligent driver if your case meets certain exceptions, such as:
- Insufficient Insurance
As previously stated, Florida requires all drivers to have PIP coverage of at least $10,000. If you maintain the state’s minimum auto insurance, you can’t seek compensation exceeding the policy limit.
Unfortunately, sometimes this won’t cover all your financial losses from the accident. In these cases, the law permits you to claim damages from the responsible party’s insurance company.
- Permanent Injuries
If you sustained a permanent injury from your auto crash, you might be able to recover damages from the at-fault driver. This includes economic and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
- Out-of-State Insurance Policies
Some out-of-state insurance policies don’t have PIP coverage. If you’re in this situation, you may be worried about how to cover your accident-related costs.
Fortunately, under Florida law, you can still pursue compensation if you have insurance coverage from a different state. Our lawyers will review the terms of your policy to determine if you’re eligible for a claim based on this exception.
You’ll have to prove that the at-fault driver’s breach of duty of care directly caused your injuries. The reckless driver may also face criminal charges for second-degree misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of your case.What Damages Can I Recover in a Hit & Run Accident in Pembroke Pines?
You can claim different types of compensation after a severe auto crash injury in Florida. They include:
- Economic Damages
Also called special damages, economic damages refer to compensation for the monetary losses you’ve suffered due to the accident. This includes medical bills, lost wages, the cost of vehicle repairs, transportation costs, household services, etc. Economic damages also cover future monetary expenses that arise from your accident.
- Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic or general damages will compensate for the intangible losses you may have suffered from the crash. For example, injuries from the hit & run collision may have left you in severe physical and mental pain for a long time.
Non-economic damages will cover these losses that you can’t put a price tag on. For example, the accident could make it challenging to take regular strolls, care for your child, or perform your usual hobbies.
Common general damages include mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, etc.
- Punitive Damages
The primary purpose of punitive damages is to punish the offender for their gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Florida courts can only award punitive damage up to $500,000 0r thrice your compensation sum, whichever is more.What Will My Pembroke Pines Hit &Run Lawyer Do for Me?
Our personal injury accident attorneys in Pembroke Pines have maintained an impeccable track record of successful hit-and-run cases for many years. Here’s how we’ve made it happen for our numerous clients:
- Accurate Case Assessment and Legal Advice
Hit & run accident lawyers are highly skilled at accessing cases similar to yours. We’ll let you know your case’s chances of success early on and provide proper guidance on your next steps. You’ll also have access to quality legal advice to prevent you from making damaging mistakes.
- Top-Notch Investigation and Evidence Gathering
There's only one way to prove your allegations to insurance companies: evidence. More than just showing that you sustained injuries, you must establish the severity of your wounds. As such, an essential part of your claim is gathering as much proof as you need to strengthen your case. Unfortunately, obtaining evidence is more than just gathering all the documents you can find concerning the accident.
The truth is that what you consider evidence may mean nothing to an insurance agent or court. Instead, we recommend our competent attorneys determine relevant evidence and use it to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Settlement Negotiations
You’ll have to find other ways to seek compensation after a hit & run accident if you never find the negligent party. Often, this means that your insurance company is the only chance you have to seek compensation.
Unfortunately, insurance companies will frequently take extraordinary measures to make your claims process as challenging as possible. As such, you may have to deal with aggressive insurance agents, dubious strategies, and lowball settlement offers. They may not mind violating your rights once they realize you’re without legal assistance.
With our experienced attorneys, you wouldn’t have to deal with these unfair insurance practices. We will put much effort into upholding your rights.
- Paperwork and Filings
You will often need a lot of time to recuperate from accident injuries. That’s especially if you’ve sustained any type of disability. Unfortunately, handling the necessary paperwork and legal research to support your claims can be challenging.
Our personal injury attorneys can help you in these aspects. More than just handling paperwork and documentation, we’ll ensure that we don’t miss deadlines and everything is done accurately. You can trust us to reply to legal motions, handle insurance company correspondences, and file the necessary documents.
- Quality Advocacy
Sometimes, hit & run accident cases can become annoyingly complicated. The insurance companies and defendants may try to frustrate your case so much that an amicable settlement is no longer feasible. In these cases, your next option is to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Our attorneys’ help can increase your chances of success in court. Our personal injury lawyers have extensive years of trial experience. With our expertise, we'll be able to beat even the most formidable defendants in court.Speak With Experienced Hit & Run Attorneys in Pembroke Pines ASAP
As other auto crashes, hit & run accidents can leave you with varying degrees of injuries. From spinal cord injuries to traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, etc., the impact of these accidents is traumatizing. However, unlike in other collisions, the at-fault driver is nowhere to be found in a hit & run crash. This can make your case even more difficult.
Fortunately, you can still seek damages for your suffering in a Pambero Pines hit & run crash. With help from our compassionate accident attorneys, you can potentially reach a financial settlement to cover your losses (by appointment only).
Our personal injury attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers will provide you with top-notch legal services. We’re eager to help you seamlessly navigate this challenging phase of your life. Call our office at (561) 800-8000 for a one-on-one consultation with our lawyers today.