411: Reacting to a Hit-and-Run
Our experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green frequently represent individuals who have been injured in auto accidents caused by the negligence of others. In the majority of these cases, the disputes involve the other driver their insurance company; when the other driver is at fault, it is their insurance company that is typically liable for damages.
But what happens if the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident? If you were hit by someone who then fled, you could be facing the prospect of having nobody to hold responsible for the damages you’ve just incurred. The truth is, hit-and-run auto accidents are far too common. People flee the scenes of accidents that they cause for many reasons, and doing so isn’t just unethical, it is illegal according to Florida state law – Chapter 316 of the Florida State Statutes mandate that anyone involved in an auto accident causing personal injury, damage to property or death must remain at the scene of the accident.
Instead of acting out of desperation and chasing the negligent driver (and now criminal) down the road, here are a few things that you should remember to do in the event that you are hit by someone who then flees the scene of the accident:
- Contact the Police/Call 911 immediately
To begin with, you should always contact the police after an auto accident so that an official report can be generated, as this report is often an integral part of the insurance claim process handled by your attorney(s). Contacting the police is also a must-do if you believe you have been injured in the accident. Furthermore, in the case of hit-and-runs, if you contact your local police department in a timely manner, they may be able to notify other, local law enforcement departments who might be able to catch the fleeing negligent driver. This will both hold him/her accountable for breaking the law and for damaging your property and/or causing you to incur injuries.
- Make Detailed Observations/Try to get Tag info
Of course, contacting the police will be fruitless if you have nothing of substance to tell them – that is why it is absolutely vital that as soon as an auto accident takes place, you scan the immediate area for the other car and try to identify distinguishing characteristics of the motor vehicle and its driver. For example, telling the police that the car that hit you was a 2010 or 2011 Blue 4-door Honda Civic with a Florida license plate is far more likely to be of assistance to them in tracking down the criminal than if you were to tell them that someone in “a green or red car” hit you.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
Having to deal with a hit-and-run personal injury auto accident case is similar to handling a case in which you are hit by an uninsured motorist. Make sure to contact your insurance company and tell them about the accident as soon as it makes sense to do so (i.e., after seeking any medical attention that you might require, etc.). The specific terms of your auto insurance policy will dictate how the claims process will proceed, but contacting your insurance company earlier rather than later can increase the likelihood that you are treated fairly and receive the attention you deserve.
- Contact an Experienced Attorney
While no personal injury auto accident case is simple, those of the hit-and-run variety are especially difficult to navigate, which is why it’s crucial that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following the accident. With the help of attorneys like ours at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green, you can focus on your recovery while we focus on recovering for you the compensation that you deserve.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident due to the fault of another, please contact us to schedule a free consultation, give us a call at 561-266-9191 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.