Gainesville Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers
Hit-and-Run Accident Claims in Florida
In Florida, as in other states, it is a criminal offense to leave the scene of an accident without stopping to identify oneself and attempt to provide reasonable aid to others involved in the crash. Fleeing the scene of the accident, or committing a hit-and-run, is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine—but the penalties increase significantly when someone is injured or killed in the accident.
Despite these penalties, many people still fail to stop at the scene of an accident. If this has happened to you, and you were injured or lost someone you love due to the crash, we encourage you to contact our firm right away.
At Schackow & Mercadante, we represent victims of hit-and-run accidents in seeking fair compensation for their physical, emotional, and financial losses. Depending on the specific details of your situation, you may have several options when it comes to seeking recovery for your damages.
Call our Gainesville hit-and-run accident attorneys today at (352) 261-6767 or contact us onlineto request a free initial consultation.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Being involved in any car accident can be overwhelming, but this is especially true when the other driver doesn’t stop or quickly leaves the scene. However, there are some things you can do immediately after a hit-and-run accident to protect yourself, your rights, and your future recovery.
If you can, try to do the following after a hit-and-run accident:
- Seek medical attention, even if you believe you are not injured or that your injuries are not that serious. You should always receive professional medical care after a motor vehicle accident, as you could have underlying injuries or more severe injuries than you first realize.
- Call law enforcement and file an official police report. Have the police come out to the scene of the accident and provide as many details as you can about the crash, as well as the other driver. This includes a description of their vehicle and how the accident occurred.
- Write down everything you can remember about the other driver and their vehicle, including the license plate number or partial license plate number, the make and model of the vehicle, the color of the vehicle, and what the driver looked like (if you can remember).
- Notify your insurance company about the accident, but avoid agreeing to a settlement or signing anything your insurance company provides to you without first speaking to a lawyer. You may be entitled to more than their first offer. An attorney can help you understand your rights.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer with experience handling hit-and-run accident claims. These are complex motor vehicle accident cases; you want someone who has an in-depth understanding of the law and how it affects your claim.
At Schackow & Mercadante, we have helped countless clients in situations similar to yours. Our attorneys have more than 126 years of combined legal experience, as well as a long and proven track record of success in recovering full and fair compensation on behalf of their clients.
Can You Recover Compensation for Damages After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Depending on the specific details of your situation, it may be possible to recover compensation after a hit-and-run accident. In fact, under Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system, it is not only possible but relatively likely that you will recover some compensation for certain covered damages.
After any auto accident in Florida, injured motorists can turn to their own insurance providers and receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other eligible economic damages under their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP provides compensation for 80% of your medical expenses due to an “emergency medical condition” (EMC) resulting from an accident, as well as 60% of your lost wages as a result of a disabling accident-related injury.
However, PIP only covers these expenses up to your policy limits. The minimum required PIP coverage in Florida is $10,000. If you only have the minimum amount of coverage, you can only receive up to $10,000 through PIP after a hit-and-run accident.
Depending on your situation and the type of insurance coverage you have, you could also be able to recover compensation after a hit-and-run accident by:
- Filing an Uninsured Motorist (UM) Claim: Although UM insurance is not mandatory in Florida, you must reject this coverage in writing for it to not be included in your auto insurance policy. If you have elected to add UM insurance to your policy, you can file a claim after a hit-and-run accident and be compensated for your damages up to your policy limits.
- Bringing a Lawsuit Against the Hit-and-Run Driver: It doesn’t always happen, but if the police can locate the hit-and-run driver, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them directly. You would have to prove that your injuries meet the state’s definition of a “serious injury” and that the hit-and-run driver was at fault for the incident.
At Schackow & Mercadante, we can review your various options with you during a free, no-obligation consultation and provide our professional counsel regarding how best to proceed.
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Why Hire a Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney?
Hit-and-run accident claims tend to be far more complex than standard car accident cases due to the myriad factors involved, including the fact that the at-fault driver cannot always be identified. For this reason, it is very important that you work with a skilled and experienced lawyer who knows how to navigate the law and fight for your best interests.
Our Gainesville hit-and-run accident attorneys are here to guide you through the legal process. For decades, our firm has prided itself on providing clients with a high level of personal attention and care. We are not a mill, and we do not simply settle cases as quickly as possible just so we can move on to the next one. Instead, we take the time to really get to know our clients, listen to their stories, and understand how we can help them seek the justice they deserve.
As your legal team, we will always fight for you. We are tireless in our pursuit of full and fair compensation for the people we represent, even when that means litigating and trying cases. Our goal is to not only help you obtain justice but also to recover the resources you need to rebuild your life.
Contact our firm today at (352) 261-6767 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation with a member of our team. We serve all of Alachua County and beyond.
“I am a UF student who got injured on campus and Schackhow and Mercadante handled my case extremely well. Everything was settled in about a year and I highly recommend them for any personal injury case in which you are a victim in any capacity.”