Hit-and-run accidents in Florida are unfortunately a common occurrence, often leaving victims feeling overwhelmed and unsure of their next steps. Understanding how to handle such incidents and the role of insurance can significantly reduce post-accident stress.
Florida’s Hit-and-Run Incidents: A Growing Concern
Florida law strictly defines hit-and-run incidents, which include leaving the scene without exchanging information or failing to render aid to the injured. Despite stringent laws, such as the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, hit-and-run accidents in Florida have been on the rise, with a 17% increase reported between 2020 and 2021.
Legal Penalties for Hit-and-Run Offenders
The severity of the penalties for hit-and-run drivers in Florida depends on the accident’s consequences:
Property Damage Only: Classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine and up to 60 days in prison.
With Injuries: Considered a second- or third-degree felony, leading to a revoked license for at least three years, a $5,000 fine, and up to five years in prison.
With Fatalities: Treated as a first-degree felony, resulting in a revoked license for at least three years, a $10,000 fine, and a prison sentence ranging from four to 30 years.
Insurance Coverage for Hit-and-Run Victims
In cases where the hit-and-run driver is not found, certain types of auto insurance coverage can provide financial compensation:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Required by Florida law, it offers $10,000 of medical coverage regardless of who is at fault.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This optional coverage provides medical coverage for injuries resulting from hit-and-runs.
Collision Coverage: It covers vehicle damage caused by a hit-and-run, subject to a deductible.
Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run in Florida
If you’re a victim of a hit-and-run, it’s crucial to stay calm and follow these steps:
Move your vehicle to a safe place, if possible.
Check on all passengers and call paramedics if needed.
Call the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene.
Write down any details you remember about the other vehicle.
Look for any debris that might help identify the hit-and-run driver.
Talk to eyewitnesses and gather their contact information.
Take pictures of the damage and the accident scene.
Contact your insurance provider to file a claim.
How Louis Law Group Can Help
In the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident, especially in complex cases or when dealing with insurance claims, legal assistance can be invaluable. Louis Law Group specializes in car accident claims, including hit-and-run incidents. They can provide expert guidance and representation in several ways:
Navigating Insurance Claims: They can help ensure that you receive the full benefits of your insurance policy.
Legal Representation: If the hit-and-run driver is identified, they can assist in pursuing legal action against them.
Advice and Support: Their expertise in car accident claims can offer peace of mind during a stressful time.
Understanding the legal and insurance aspects of hit-and-run incidents in Florida is crucial for any driver. In such stressful situations, having the support of a specialized law firm like Louis Law Group can make a significant difference in handling the aftermath effectively and ensuring that your rights are protected.