What Should I Do If I Was Involved In a Hit and Run in Florida?
There are two key parts which anyone involved in a hit and run must know: first, the legal requirements of those involved in a crash, and second, what they can do to try and recover their damages.
Florida Statute § 316.061 requires the driver of a vehicle that was involved in, or had any effect on, a crash to immediately stop, provide their information, and remain at the scene until law enforcement has completed any necessary investigation or otherwise allows them to leave the scene of the accident. This includes the victim of a hit and run accident—not just the wrongdoer.
If you were severely injured in the accident, the most important thing is to receive any necessary medical attention to make sure you are ok. You should immediately report the accident and notify law enforcement if you need an ambulance. If you are able, look around the scene of the accident to see if there are any camera which may have recorded the crash. People often think this is limited to intersection cameras, but sometimes surveillance cameras in nearby plazas, stores, and restaurants can pick up the crash on a nearby street. Your attorney should immediately send out requests for preservation to any of these locations. From there, your attorney can speak with the commercial locations to determine if there is any evidence which would be useful to your case. Additionally, you should take pictures of the area around the accident, your vehicle damage, and any injuries you sustained. If there were any witnesses, be sure to write down their contact information and a statement of what they saw if they are willing to help. Sometimes, victims of a hit-and-run are able to get a portion of or all of the hit-and-run driver’s license plate. An experienced attorney will have connections with investigators and resources to track down the vehicle information and the driver’s contact information to make sure you are fully and fairly compensated for the injuries they caused. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage under your car insurance policy, your attorney may be able to recover for your injuries even if you are unable to locate the hit and run driver.
For more information, see Mathieu v. Schnitzer, 559 So. 2d 1244 (Fla. 4th DCA 1990) and contact Rosen Injury Law for a consultation.