Hit and Run Lawyer in Tampa, Florida
By law, Florida drivers must stop at the scene of any crash that involves property damage, bodily injuries, or death. When a driver flees the scene, they may not only face misdemeanor or felony charges but could also face civil liability charges for their actions. If you were hurt in a crash involving a hit-and-run driver in Tampa, an experienced car accident lawyer can explain your options for obtaining compensation.
You don’t have to handle the insurance and legal logistics after a hit and run by yourself.
Talk to a Tampa hit-and-run lawyer at Brooks Law Group. Since 1992, our attorneys have fought for the rights of people who’ve been harmed in accidents caused by negligence. We have the resources and skills to handle the most complex auto accident cases. Call or contact us for a free consultation.
What Is a Hit and Run Accident?
A Tampa hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver causes a crash involving another vehicle, cyclist, or pedestrian and then leaves the scene. Statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) recorded 600,185 hit-and-run crashes in the Sunshine State over a recent five-year period, resulting in 1,298 fatalities.
Common Causes of Hit and Run Crashes
Drivers typically leave the scene of a crash because they panic. This might be the case if they were committing a crime at the time of the collision or lacked proper insurance coverage.
Some of the most common causes of hit-and-run accidents in Florida include:
- The driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The driver did not have a valid driver’s license or is driving on a suspended license.
- The driver did not maintain proper insurance on the vehicle.
- The driver was afraid to go to jail.
- The driver was suffering from road rage and intentionally caused the crash.
- The driver was young and inexperienced.
- The driver was having a health-related episode and did not realize there was a collision.
- If the hit-and-run driver is identified, they could face criminal penalties, including fines and jail time. They could also be held civilly liable for causing any injuries and property damage.
Can I Get Compensation for a Hit and Run Accident?
There are a few options for financial compensation for hit-and-run accident victims in Florida.
You could file a claim against their insurance policy or seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit if the negligent driver is found.
If authorities cannot locate the at-fault driver, you can also make a claim against your own automobile insurance policy. Your Florida no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits will cover the first $10,000 in accident-related losses.
Florida insurance companies also offer uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. If you purchased this coverage, you could make a UM claim with your insurer because the negligent driver’s insurance status is unknown.
Compensation may include money for:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
With the help of a skilled hit-and-run lawyer, you could potentially recover the compensation you need to pay your bills, repair your vehicle, and move on with your life.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident in Tampa
The first thing you should do when finding yourself in a hit-and-run accident is to make sure you are safe from additional harm. Move your car off the road to avoid a secondary crash if it is safe to do so. Then:
- Call 911. The sooner law enforcement and EMS get to the scene, the better. An officer can begin to investigate the case, redirect traffic, and get witness statements. If anyone is injured, the EMS first responders can get people to the hospital as quickly as possible.
- Take pictures. If possible, take photographs of the fleeing vehicle, but do not put yourself in harm’s way just to get a picture. Take photos of the accident scene, the damage to your car, any skid marks, traffic control devices, and signs. Take photos of any pieces of the other vehicle that fell off the fleeing vehicle. It might be possible to identify the car based on the missing parts.
- Document everything. If you could not get pictures of the fleeing car or truck, immediately write down any details you can remember about it. The sooner you write this information down, the more accurate it will be. Record the make, model, and color of the vehicle. Take note of any security cameras that might have recorded the crash. Cameras on stoplights or security cameras on nearby businesses or homes may have recorded the fleeing vehicle.
- Call a hit-and-run attorney. Hiring a lawyer immediately could make a significant difference in your case. Your lawyer could work with law enforcement to locate the at-fault driver and hold them accountable. If the police do not apprehend the driver, an attorney can assist you with seeking compensation from your own insurance policy.
Contact a Hit and Run Accident Lawyer in Tampa, FL
Did a driver leave the scene of a crash after hitting you in Central Florida? Reach out to the Tampa hit-and-run lawyers at Brooks Law Group as soon as possible. We can launch an immediate investigation into the accident to improve your chances of locating the responsible driver.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.