Who Pays for a Hit and Run Accident?

Who Pays for a Hit and Run Accident?

Hit and run accidents happen all the time across the state of Florida, and they can seriously jeopardize the rights and wellbeing of injured victims. Not only is fleeing the scene of an accident a criminal offense in Florida, particularly because it puts victims at risk of not receiving medical attention, it can also make for complications should an injured victim attempt to pursue a recovery of their damages, including the costs of any future medical needs and their pain and suffering, that arise as a result of the crash.

The unfortunate truth is that hit and run accidents frequently result in situations where injured parties are not able to hold the at-fault driver responsible for a crash. This is because:

  • The hit and run driver was never found, or
  • The hit and run driver was located but did not have insurance

These are the two most common scenarios victims face following hit and run crashes and they can be detrimental to a personal injury case. In some cases, a driver who fled the scene may be located and may have enough insurance to cover a victims’ damages, but it is not the norm. Even if a driver is found and made to face criminal charges for their actions, victims need to know that these criminal cases will not provide the compensation they need to cover their damages. Victim restitution may be available, but it will still likely not be enough to meet a victim’s needs.

At Roman & Gaynor, we have spoken with auto accident victims throughout the region who came to us following a hit and run collision in which the other driver fled the scene. More often than not, after investigating the circumstances involved, it is discovered that these victims simply can’t pursue a claim against a driver without insurance or a driver who is never found. It is a sad and unfortunate reality that in many hit and run accidents, it is the victim who pays. But it does not have to happen if motorists understand that there are options for protecting themselves.

Read our blog: Why You Should Have Uninsured Motorist Auto Insurance

UM / UIM Coverage

Because we have seen the devastating results of hit and run accidents first hand, our legal team is passionate about educating local residents about how they can protect themselves in the event of a hit and run accident – or any accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are policies available though most auto insurance providers, and they can be the safety net motorists need in the event of a crash in which the at-fault party doesn’t have what’s needed to cover their damages. UM may increase your premium (you should always price shop), but it is absolutely essential in cases such as hit and run accidents. When you consider the costs of increased premiums to the tremendous costs victims have to foot on their own following a hit and run crash or a wreck with an uninsured driver, it always makes sense to purchase UM. In these situations, an injured victim with UM can file a claim against their own insurance company, and recover their damages through that means.

We strongly encourage everyone to look into uninsured motorist coverage. It could make the difference when you need it most.

For more information about your rights after a car accident, contact us to speak with a Clearwater car accident attorney at Roman & Gaynor during a FREE consultation. We proudly serve clients throughout Pinellas County, Pasco County, and the surrounding areas of Florida.

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