If you or someone you care about has been injured by another motorist who leaves the scene of the accident, it adds a layer of complication and makes the situation even more emotionally devastating. You need a Plantation, Florida, car accident attorney with experience in hit-and-run accidents.
The person who caused you to be injured not only failed to take responsibility for their negligence but also failed to show any compassion or concern for your health and well-being — and left you to pick up the pieces on your own. But you aren’t in this alone. Contact a Plantation car accident attorney at Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys to discuss your hit-and-run case.
Driver Negligence Contributes to Hit-and-Run Crashes
Motorists who hit and harm others and then take off generally recognize that their negligence is to blame, and this negligence can come in a range of dangerous forms.
A motorist who is texting behind the wheel, which is easily the most dangerous distraction, can travel about the length of a football field without paying attention to the road when driving at highway speeds, and they can do a lot of damage in the meantime.
Drunk driving is illegal for a very good reason, and that is because it is exceptionally dangerous. Drunk drivers can experience deficits in impulse control, which can increase the risk that they will flee the scene of an accident – this is generally in addition to an overall desire to avoid legal consequences.
Hit and Run Accidents Are on the Rise
According to AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit-and-run accidents in which negligent drivers leave the scene of the accident are increasing. When the at-fault motorist flees the accident scene, it’s often because they believe they can do so without being detected, which means there is more likelihood that help will be delayed – while the injured party, if incapacitated, waits for a passerby to alert the authorities.
In doing so, the at-fault driver also makes it more difficult for the injured party to obtain just compensation through their own – the negligent party’s – insurance provider. Consider the following statistics forwarded:
- In a recent year, there were more than 737,000 hit-and-run accidents.
- This means there was a hit-and-run accident every 43 seconds somewhere in this country.
- The following year, hit-and-run accidents led to 2,049 fatalities, the highest recorded number in U.S. history.
Florida has experienced a steady hit-and-run accident rate over the years – with 25 percent of all Florida traffic accidents involving a hit-and-run driver. In response, the state has implemented a Stay at the Scene campaign and enforced sentencing minimums for at-fault motorists who leave the scene of fatal crashes.
No-Fault Insurance Coverage
Even if the driver who hit your vehicle and left the scene is not found, all hope is not lost in obtaining the compensation you are entitled to and that you need to recover.
Every motorist in Florida is required to carry personal injury protection – or PIP – coverage as part of their own auto insurance policy, which provides no-fault coverage in a range of instances that include hit-and-run drivers. However, minimum requirements in terms of PIP are relatively low and can quickly be exhausted in an accident of any magnitude.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Florida motorists are also offered uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UMC), which can be tripped in instances such as hit-and-runs. This form of insurance provides coverage when the at-fault driver either has no car insurance coverage or does not have adequate coverage to address the full extent of damages they’re responsible for.
When the negligent motorist is not available, the situation qualifies as involving an uninsured motorist. While drivers in Florida are not required to carry UMC, their coverage providers are required to offer it, and if the option is declined, the motorist must do so in writing.
A Note about Finding Hit-and-Run Drivers
Hit-and-run drivers often flee because they believe they can get away with shirking their responsibilities and the associated fines and penalties for causing a dangerous accident. When a motorist takes this risk, it can mean that they have something to hide, such as:
- Being impaired behind the wheel
- Failing to carry the necessary insurance coverage
- Having an expired or no driver’s license
Motorists can also flee to retain the right to drive by keeping points off their driving records.
Whatever the reason, however, modern technology makes identifying hit-and-run drivers far more likely than it was in the past. You can count on every passing vehicle having a smartphone – that is camera and video ready – in it, and this is not to mention that there are far more mounted cameras sprinkled throughout the state now than there ever were in the past.
If a hit-and-run driver has injured you, look to a well-established Plantation car accident firm for the legal guidance you need.
Reach Out to an Experienced Plantation Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys, we can guide your hit-and-run accident case and litigate it if needed. Rocco Scarfone is your trusted Plantation, Florida, car accident lawyer here to help in challenging situations like hit and runs. We aim to fully recover the losses you face.