How can I be compensated for a hit and run accident?
In July, 2014, the rate of hit and run accidents in the state of Florida had increased by such a percentage that Florida Highway Patrol launched the “Stay at the Scene” campaign to educate drivers on their responsibilities in the event of a car accident. In conjunction with that campaign, the penalties for hit and run drivers also changed on July 1, 2014, becoming what is now known as the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act. This can be found as part of the Florida Statutes.
A driver involved in a car accident in which the other party left the scene will unfortunately have no immediate resolution other than to file a claim with his or her own insurance company. However, the policyholder will be required to pay his or her previously selected deductible before any payment will be made from the insurance company.
If the party who left the accident is unknown, the injured driver who stayed at the scene may then sue their own insurance company as “John Doe”, which will allow payment from uninsured motorist. This compensation will go over and above liability limits of his or her own personal policy, including pain and suffering, among other claims. After settling all claims with the driver, the insurance company will then attempt to locate and identify the driver who left the scene. Once they do so, they can then file suit to recoup their losses.
It can be helpful for a driver to immediately contact an attorney following a hit and run accident. Allowing any period of time to lapse before doing so could inadvertently damage such a case. A driver is never required to accept the first offer received from an insurance company, and will often be pressured to do so prior to retaining the services of an attorney. An experienced attorney may be able to negotiate greater compensation for injury, lost time, and other claims.
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