Stuart Hit & Run Lawyer
Have you recently been involved in a hit & run accident? If so, you’re likely uncertain about the future and have several concerns. Car accidents always leave behind a trail of financial responsibility, but what if you can’t identify who the other driver was?
Hit & run accidents are more complex than other wrecks. They involve criminal activity and not having another driver to contact for insurance purposes, which could have helped greatly for your compensation needs.
If you have recently been involved in a hit & run accident in Stuart, Florida, here’s everything you need to know about your case, how to find a lawyer, and more.What Is a Hit & Run Accident?
Hit & run accidents are exactly what their name suggests—an accident where the other driver immediately flees the scene before you have a chance to get out and speak to them. Sometimes the other driver is the responsible party, and they know this, so they leave.
There are a few instances where standard car accidents can result in criminal activity, but nothing such as hit & run accidents. Anyone who flees the scene of an accident and participates in a hit & run may be subject to criminal charges, whether that is a fine or time in jail.
These types of accidents do not have to always involve car to car. Hit & run accidents can occur with:
- Road workers
- Fixed objects or road signs
There is also no shortage of where hit & runs can occur. These accidents can take place on and around:
- Parking lots
Any time a motor vehicle strikes another person, car, or object, it will constitute a hit & run if the driver flees the scene.Why Hit & Run Accidents Happen
There are several reasons why hit & run accidents happen. Some drivers may have a fear of law enforcement, while other drivers may be fleeing from previous legal battles they are already hiding from.
Other possible reasons as to why hit & run drivers flee the scene can include:
- Scared of being caught for outstanding warrants
- Driving a stolen vehicle
- Employee in a work truck worried about being reprimanded
- Not being a legal citizen
- Driving impaired or having illegal substances in the vehicle
These are not the only reasons as to why someone may encounter a hit & run accident. Situations can vary depending on what the other driver is facing.
It’s not uncommon for a hit & run accident to occur in Stuart, Florida since Florida is a large and busy state. Of course, it’s important to note that not every person who flees the scene of an accident is running from legal trouble. There can be many psychological emotions running through individuals’ minds during these kinds of accidents.
Car accidents are often emotional and stir up adrenaline. This can cause someone to flee out of pure fear or shock. While this is not an excuse, it can be noteworthy point.Steps to Take If You’re in a Hit & Run Accident
Most of the time, if you are the victim of a hit & run, there is not much left for you to do in proving your innocence in the accident, but there are steps you can take to help your chances when seeking a favorable outcome.
If you are not severely injured, the first thing you should do is try to note the color, make, and model of the car the other vehicle. It is highly recommended that you have a small notebook and pen in your car in case you ever find yourself if this situation. You can also use the notes app in your phone to record this information. After dealing with the emotional toll of an accident, you may not remember these important details if you don’t write them down.
As soon as you can, contact law enforcement and report the accident. In Florida, drivers are legally required to call the police after a car accident if injuries occur or if damages over $500 are present. Note to all drivers: there’s almost always damage exceeding $500, so you should always call the police, no matter what.
The police will need to file a report about the accident, including how it occurred and who’s at fault. You can use this document later on as evidence in your case and for insurance purposes.
Another measure you should take following a car accident is being medically observed by a doctor or EMT so there can be documented proof your injuries were sustained from the accident. Regardless of if you meet the requirements to file a lawsuit or are just seeking compensation from your insurance adjuster, medical records can be used to help your claim. Even if you think your injuries are minor, they can escalate over time so it’s important to be medically evaluated.
You will likely be at the scene of the accident for a while. You should contact your attorney as soon as you can and preferably before you contact your insurance adjuster. If you speak to your insurance company first, you could inadvertently say something that lowers or denies a settlement offer. Having a legal expert on your side means you will have someone to help negotiate on your behalf from the start.
If you notice any witnesses or buildings nearby with cameras, jot those names down too. Video surveillance and witness statements serve as excellent sources of evidence that your attorney can work with as well.Florida Car Accident Laws
If you are new to Stuart, Florida, then you may not be aware of the car accident laws the state has in place. For example, the fact that Florida is one of eighteen states that uses the pure comparative fault system.
Pure-comparative fault means that all drivers in an accident are responsible for sharing the blame, even though the blame is not always dispersed equally. This was meant to reduce the amount of car accident lawsuits that were being filed and so that residents turn to their insurance adjusters before filing a lawsuit.
There are two circumstances that make a person eligible for filing a car accident lawsuit in Florida. The individual must:
- Sustain a severe injury, or
- Accumulate hospital bills exceeding a specific amount
If your case does not meet these requirements, then your compensation help will come from your insurance claim. It is a requirement for all Floridians to carry a minimum of $10,000 in both personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL).
Personal injury protection is not the same as collision coverage. PIP covers medical bills and benefits you can receive based on the need for ongoing care after the accident. PDL covers the damage you owe to the other driver’s car if the wreck was primarily your fault. If you would like to have coverage for any car damages, you will need to have collision coverage as well.How to File a Hit & Run Claim
When it’s time to file a hit & run claim, you can benefit from the help of attorney for every step throughout the legal process and insurance negotiations.
Filing a claim with your insurance seems straight-forward. You call them to let them know you have been in an accident and suffered injuries. Your adjuster will then begin the investigation process to confirm who was at-fault and to review how serious your injuries are beforing offering a settlement amount.
If your case is complex enough, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Consult with your attorney before making this decision. If you choose to proceed, your attorney will be responsible for drafting the legal documents to serve to the defendant, guiding you, and helping you seek a fair outcome.How to Find the Best Hit & Run Lawyer in Stuart, Florida
There are many benefits that come with working with a hit & run lawyer during this kind of predicament for insurance purposes and more.
You should look for a handful of attorneys in your area that specialize in working with hit & run accidents so you can consult with more than one. Not every attorney operates or communicates the same, and you should choose the attorney that you feel the most comfortable with after a consultation.
Most law firms offer free consultations, so you can speak to as many attorneys as you would like before making a decision.Questions to Ask Your Hit & Run Lawyer
When you are searching for the right hit & run car accident lawyer to have on your side, you need to ask the right questions so you can determine which attorney to work with. The objective for asking these questions is to get a better sense of who you will be working with so you can have confidence in the attorney you choose.
The first question you should ask your attorney during your consultation is how much experience they have with hit & run accidents. These are not your typical car accidents and require specific expertise. You should choose a lawyer that has years of experience with hit & run accidents, successful outcomes, and has what it takes to help you seek compensation.
Another question to ask is how they plan to communicate with you during the duration of your case. Communication is key and crucial in your claim process. There should be an open and honest line of communication between you and your attorney at all times. You should feel comfortable going to them for any questions you have throughout the process.
During your consultation, you should also bring along certain documents, such as your insurance declaration statement, to inquire about the damages you can recover from the accident. This information helps your attorney know more about your coverage and what you may be entitled to.What to Expect With a Hit & Run Lawsuit
You should not expect your case to resolve quickly if you are dealing with a lawsuit. Hit & run accidents can take a while to process and complete if the other driver is difficult to track down.
As you wait for law enforcement to find the culprit, you and your Stuart Hit & Run Car Accident Lawyer will be hard at work building your case. You can expect your attorney to handle most of the legal work. They will do the investigation of the evidence and most of the speaking on your behalf when it comes to your insurance adjuster or possible lawsuit.Compensation for a Hit & Run Lawsuit
You can seek compensation in one of two ways after a hit & run: through your insurance, or by filing a lawsuit if your accident meets certain requirements. Your Stuart Hit & Run Car Accident Lawyer will be responsible for negotiating a fair settlement with your insurance adjuster.
If you have a case that makes it to court, the jury will then be responsible for determining how much you should receive by looking at your economic and non-economic losses with the possible multiplier method applied.
Economic losses are costs that can actually be totaled up, such as your hospital bills, car damages, and time off work. Non-economic losses are pain and suffering you may have experienced from the car accident, such as emotional damage, ongoing medical care, and the impact of your injuries.
If the multiplier method is applied, the total the jury deems worthy will be multiplied by any number between one and five. If you have a more complex case, then it is possible your amount can be totaled by a higher number.
As an example:
The jury awards you $70,000 with economic and non-economic losses combined. Because your accident was severe and the hit & run driver was driving while intoxicated, your settlement is multiplied by 4.5. That means you will receive a grand total of $315,000 at the end of your case.
To have an indication of how much you may be awarded, consult with your lawyer.Talk to a Stuart Hit & Run Lawyer Today
Instead of dealing with the stress from a hit & run accident alone, have a lawyer on your side. Contacting a high-quality hit & run lawyer is the first step to seeking the compensation you need.
The experts at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyer are ready to help you in your case. Our expertise has helped residents of Florida recover over $100,000,000.00 in combined settlements across various injury accidents, including hit & run incidents.
Our 40 years in the practice have led us to gain expert knowledge of how the other side thinks and what the statute of limitations are regarding hit & run accidents. It is our pleasure to use our expertise to help build your case and give you the closure you deserve.
You can get started with your claim by calling our firm at (561) 800-8000 or filling out our free case evaluation form online to set up your free consultation. Once we have your information, we will schedule a time that is convenient for you to come in and meet one of our attorneys that will be assigned to your case.
The free consultation is your chance to discuss your case in greater detail and ask your attorney any questions you have about working on your case. If you feel that we are the right fit for your future, we will immediately begin working on your claim.
Don’t let any more time pass you by in the four years you have from the date of your crash to file a claim. Contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today.