Winning Compensation after a Hit-and-Run Accident

After surviving a traumatic car crash, it’s reasonable to want to hold the responsible party accountable for his or her subpar driving skills. While it is against the law to flee the scene of an accident, many do just that. In fact, Florida is one of the top three states for fatal hit-and-run accidents. In 2016, there were 2,049 fatal hit-and-run crashes in the U.S.; that same year, there were 206 such accidents in Florida. From 2006-2016, the Sunshine State recorded 1,814 hit-and-run crashes involving at least one death.

Sadly, the rate of fatal hit-and-run accidents across the country is headed in the wrong direction. On average, the rate of these collisions has increased 7.2% since 2009. These accidents leave the families of victims devastated, as it is often difficult to track down the person responsible for the death. Those who survive a hit-and-run crash in Florida may also have few options for restitution.

If you have recently suffered an injury due to a hit-and-run in Orlando, you should be aware of the roadblocks that may lay ahead in your journey to recovery.

Who Pays after a Hit-and-Run in Orlando?

Drivers who leave the accident scene can face legal and civil penalties if their victims can identify them. These penalties can include jail time and fines. With that said, survivors of hit-and-run accidents in Orlando are unlikely to receive compensation from the negligent party’s insurance company if they cannot find the other driver. Without knowing who to blame, it’s impossible to hold someone accountable for the accident.

Orlando is in a no-fault state, meaning that drivers must file claims through their own insurance companies to receive compensation.

Why It’s Important to Report Hit-and-Runs to Police

People involved in a car crash should always report accidents to police, especially if they survived a hit-and-run accident. A police report may help police identify hit-and-run drivers. Once police catch the driver, it’s possible to seek compensation for injuries sustained in the crash.

Here’s why reporting the accident is crucial to seeking compensation:

  1. The police may be able to find the negligent driver, especially if a witness caught the license plate number or the vehicle make and model.
  2. The police report establishes that a crash occurred, why it occurred, and that the driver fled the scene.
  3. If you can find the driver, the police report is necessary to file a claim against his insurance company.
  4. Drivers who must file a claim with their own insurance companies should have a copy of the police report to send to the insurance adjuster.

How to Win Compensation if the Driver is Found

Those who can track down the hit-and-run driver after a hit-and-run injury crash have more options for seeking compensation than drivers who cannot find the party responsible for the damages.

  • The victim can seek compensation through the negligent driver’s insurance company.
  • The victim can sue the negligent driver if he or she lacks a valid insurance policy.
  • The victim can seek restitution from the driver as part of a criminal case. Hit-and-run accidents are illegal in Florida, and a driver can face criminal consequences if law enforcement officers catch him.
  • The victim can file a claim with his or her own insurance company. In no-fault states like Florida, this option is available to all accident victims with valid insurance policies

Your first step after sustaining an injury due to a hit-and-run crash in Orlando is to seek medical attention immediately. Next, you should speak with an experienced car accident attorney about your accident to learn how he can help you seek justice for your case. A lawyer may be able to help the police locate the driver responsible for your injuries and can help you negotiate a settlement with your own insurance company to ensure you receive what you deserve.

At The Umansky Law Firm, we have helped clients in situations like yours for decades recover the funds they need to cover medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more after hit-and-run accidents. Call 407-228-3838 or contact us online for a free consultation.