Seeking Justice after a Hit and Run Accident
The aftermath of a car accident can be a chaotic place. Even minor traffic accidents are jarring, and more serious ones can result in severe injuries and property damage that can be very disorienting. This level of confusion can be made even worse in the case of a hit and run car accident.
Florida law, like the law of other states, includes a duty to remain on the scene to give information and render aid. This means that a person involved in an accident is obliged to stop and provide contact and insurance information to the other party, as well as to help provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the crash. Apart from the obvious goal of getting medical attention for injured people, this system is designed to make it easier to initiate personal injury lawsuits related to the crash since the parties have already traded information. While the lack of personal information does make it more difficult to begin a lawsuit following a hit and run, victims injured in such a crash should know that they still have options available to them.
Tracking down the Other Driver
The first thing to do after a hit and run is determine if it is possible to track down the other driver involved in the crash. The immediate aftermath of the crash is likely to be hectic, but if possible, victims should attempt to get as much information about the other car as possible. A car’s make, model, color, and license plate number can all be helpful for identifying the person who caused the accident. Similarly, identifying information about the driver can also be useful.
Of course, such information may be difficult to get from within a car that was just in an accident. Even if victims cannot see the car that hit them, they can still ask witnesses. People on the scene will likely have been able to see more of the accident, and may be able to provide information that the victims missed. Similarly, it may be possible to get access to video footage from cameras in the area that can shed more light on the other driver’s identity.
Other Options for Compensation
However, not every hit and run driver will be identifiable. This does not mean that victims are out of options. First, they should takes steps to file a police report about the accident even without the other driver’s information. A surprisingly high number of people who leave the scene of the accident later feel guilty about it and go to the police. Having a police report on file can make it much easier for the police to match these people to their accidents.
Even if the driver does not turn themselves in, people may still be able to recover through their own insurance. Many car insurance policies have coverage for accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists. This coverage can often also be used in cases where a driver fled the scene.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run accident, you have options. Contact a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney at Pike & Lustig, LLP today to learn more about your rights.