The Tampa Bay Times reported 70,000 hit-and-run accidents in Florida in 2012. These accidents are common and can leave victims injured and wondering what’s next?
Important Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Hit-and-Run Accident
1) Report the accident to the police and be factual
Contact law enforcement and file a police report. Having a police investigation provides independent confirmation of what occurred. Even if you do not have a lot of information, filing a report can only help in your auto claims process.
2) Identify all witnesses
If a driver stops and remains at the scene, get the driver’s license information and any other available identifying information. Also, ask the driver to tell the police what they witnessed when the hit-and-run occurred. Witnesses can further validate the information you have already reported to the police. Do not assume you have enough proof.
3) Report the hit and run accident to your insurance company
Contact your insurance company and provide them with the details of the accident and the police report. Your No-Fault (PIP) insurance will help pay your medical bills. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorists (UM) insurance, your UM will pay for your injuries if you have proof of the accident required by your policy. Unfortunately, if the person at fault is not found and you don’t have UM, you will have to pay for your injuries out of pocket. Either way, report the accident.
4) Preserve evidence from the accident scene
Photograph and document all damages for evidence purposes. Make sure the evidence is well photographed and preserved. Ask your lawyer before repairing the damages to your vehicle to ensure you aren’t destroying crucial evidence for your case. Provide the insurance company with all evidential photographs to back your claim against the offender.
5) Consult with a personal injury attorney
Hit-and-run accidents are best handled by an attorney. It is common for your own insurance company to deny you payment for losses you are entitled to receive after an accident. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney before signing any forms from the insurance adjuster or giving them a recorded statement.
If you have been injured in Florida in a hit-and-run accident and are looking for answers to your questions you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 888.815.6398 to schedule your free consultation.