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If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Florida, do not hesitate to contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer. I have represented car accident victims throughout South Florida, and I am committed to helping my clients recover the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled under law.

Seeking Recovery for a Hit-and-Run Accident

Hit-and-run accidents, unfortunately, are not uncommon. Every state has laws that make it illegal for the driver of an automobile to leave the scene of an accident in which the driver has been involved. However, hit-and-run accidents continue to be happen, and, unfortunately, for a number of reasons, the percentage of drivers who opt to flee the scene continues to be disturbingly high.

According to the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 1,500 people die every year from hit-and-run drivers, and the majority of the victims are pedestrians—nearly one in five pedestrian fatalities involve hit-and-run events. Utilizing data compiled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, AAA’s report also concludes that, at least as of 2006, over 6% of all automobile accident fatalities in Florida were caused by hit-and-run drivers. However, it is important to remember that, in addition to these hit-and-run incidents involving fatalities, there are numerous other hit-and-run accidents that involve other injuries and/or property damage.

Florida Law Imposes a Duty to Stop, Provide Information, and Render Aid

Florida’s Motor Vehicle Code requires all drivers involved in an accident to stop their vehicle at the scene of an accident, or as near to the scene as possible in a location where it is safe to stop and where the parties are not obstructing traffic. Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys remind drivers that Florida’s Motor Vehicle Code 316.062, Duty to Give Information and Render Aid, mandates that drivers involved in an accident must:

  • Provide their names, addresses, registration numbers of their vehicle, and show their license or permit to the others involved in the crash, as well as to any police officer who is investigating the crash;
  • Render any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance, including, if feasible, transporting or making arrangements to transport an injured person to a facility where they can be treated;
  • In cases involving just the at-fault driver, such as when a person hits a parked car, the driver must provide the information by writing it down and attaching it to the other vehicle or other damaged property.

Other provisions of Florida’s Vehicle Code provide:

  • In any accident involving an injury, any failure of the duty to stop, give information, and render aid is a third-degree felony.
  • In any accident involving a death, any failure of the duty to stop, give information, and render aid is a first-degree felony.

Yet despite these laws, hit-and-run accidents continue to happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, the driver is intoxicated and fears the additional reprisals from being caught and cited for DUI, particularly if he or she already has a criminal record. Some intoxicated drivers may be so disoriented that they are unaware of what has happened. Sometimes, drivers flee because they have no insurance or license or are wanted for some other crime or legal infraction and do not want to be identified by the police. Other problems could be that the vehicle’s registration has expired or has been stolen. In their panic, these drivers flee the scene, hoping that they will never be caught.

If You Have Been the Victim of a Hit-and-Run Accident in Florida Involving Injury or Death, Contact David I. Fuchs as Soon as Possible

Despite all their frustrations, remedies are available to accident victims.. First, while some hit-and-run drivers are never located, others are. In their panic, many drivers fail to realize that their identities are not always a mystery. The victim or a third-party witness may note the make and model of the vehicle or its license plate number. Other drivers in the area might have noticed the vehicle prior to the accident, particularly if the driver was driving erratically or speeding. Still others may see some new damage on a car parked in their neighborhood, and report the matter after hearing about the accident.

As with any accident, you can lose important evidence if you wait too long to seek a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney. Over time, witnesses may be impossible to locate, other witnesses might not clearly remember important details, and hit-and-run drivers could have their vehicle repaired. Seeking help from a law firm as soon as possible after an accident involving injury or death is a good way to prevent loss of evidence. I am familiar with these types of accidents, and I will work diligently to gather the relevant information and available evidence and, if possible, locate the at-fault driver. If my investigation is unable to identify the other driver, we may still be able to help by recovering damages from your insurance company.

If you carry uninsured motorist coverage on your policy, you can recover under this provision for an accident involving a hit-and-run driver, even if you were injured while you were a pedestrian or bicycling. Insurance companies shall not pay out compensation if the third-party at-fault driver can be identified and has insurance.

I can assist you in evaluating your pretrial case and advise you about which options will best enable you to accomplish your particular personal goals. If you are injured or someone you love has been injured or killed in a hit-and-run accident, contact me directly at 800-570-2858. Your call and consultation are free, and there is no obligation to retain me as your attorney. I do not collect any fees from clients unless or until I recover damages for them. If you need help with a hit-and-run personal injury, call me today.

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