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Hit-and-Run Accidents

The numbers are staggering. Almost a quarter of all car accidents in Florida are hit-and-run crashes, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV). They say that over 800,000 hit-and-run crashes took place between 2015 and 2022. Tragically, 1,899 people lost their lives in these incidents, and thousands more were injured.

When the driver who caused the accident flees the scene, it can be more difficult to prove a case and recover the necessary amount of compensation to deal with the damages caused. You do have options, however, and Chadwick & Chadwick can help. Based in Tampa, our Florida personal injury attorneys have decades of experience helping car accident victims and their families recover significant compensation through jury verdicts and out-of-court settlements statewide. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a hit-and-run car accident, call our office immediately so we can get to work right away gathering the evidence needed for a successful resolution of your claim.

Hit-and-Run Accidents in Florida

Florida has a specific law aimed at punishing hit-and-run drivers. Found at Florida Statutes 316.027, the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act imposes a mandatory four-year minimum sentence in prison for a driver who is convicted of leaving the scene of an accident that results in a fatality. A driver who flees the scene of a serious crash puts the accident victim’s life in danger by not sticking around to provide First Aid or call emergency services to the scene. This law is therefore meant to be a strong deterrent to people who might otherwise fail to stop to avoid responsibility by making it a first-degree felony to do so. In addition to the mandatory four-year minimum sentence, a hit-and-run driver in a fatal collision could receive up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine and have their license revoked for three years.

If the accident caused an injury but no fatalities, the hit-and-run driver could be found guilty of a second or third-degree felony and face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, plus a license revocation of at least three years. Even if the crash only caused property damage, a hit-and-run driver in Florida could still be convicted of a second-degree misdemeanor and forced to spend up to 60 days in jail and pay a $500 fine.

Civil Liability of Hit-and-Run Drivers

Hit-and-run drivers are not just criminally liable to the state for violating the law, but they are also liable to the accident victim for the damage they’ve caused. If the driver can be found, you have a strong case against them, especially if they are prosecuted and convicted of hit-and-run. Our experienced team will explore all avenues to track down the driver and ensure the police are working on this task as well.

No-Fault Insurance and Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover Hit-and-Run Accidents

If the driver can’t be found, you still have options. If your injuries aren’t serious or permanent, then your no-fault personal injury protection insurance will pay for 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages up to $2,500 or $10,000, depending on whether you had an emergency medical condition or not. Be sure to seek medical attention within 14 days of the crash to preserve your no-fault claim.

If your injuries are permanent, then you are not limited to no-fault benefits and can pursue a tort claim, where your financial recovery can be greater. In the case of a hit-and-run where the driver can’t be found, you can file this claim under your uninsured motorist policy. Both no-fault and uninsured motorist policies cover hit-and-run accidents.

Whether you are pursuing a claim against the hit-and-run driver and their insurance company or filing a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage, we can help ensure you get the appropriate amount of compensation. Insurance companies are motivated to pay as little as they can get away with. Our motivation, on the other hand, is to get you the maximum compensation that you need and deserve. With decades of experience successfully helping car accident injury victims receive appropriate compensation, you can count on the attorneys of Chadwick & Chadwick to resolve your claim efficiently and effectively.

Help Is Available After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Florida

Call Chadwick & Chadwick at 813-264-1500 for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run accident in Florida. From our office in Tampa, we help injury victims statewide find justice, accountability, and adequate compensation when they have been hurt by the negligence, recklessness or misconduct of another.

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