I Was Involved in a Hit and Run. Do I Still Have a Case?
Being involved in a hit-and-run car accident can be a nerve-racking ordeal. We understand your fears and uncertainties, and we're here to shed light on the legal aspects of hit-and-run cases. You might be wondering, "Can I still seek compensation?" The answer is yes. You still have rights and options.
To get a more holistic answer tailored to your specific situation, we advise consulting an auto accident lawyer in your area. If you're in or near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, feel free to reach out to us at the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A. We offer free consultations and can help you build a personalized, robust plan of action with your best interests in mind.
Understanding Florida's No-Fault Insurance
The first thing to know about hit-and-run cases is how your state handles auto accident insurance.
Florida is a "no-fault" insurance state, which means that your insurance policy can cover damages, irrespective of who caused the accident. However, the coverage provided by personal injury protection (PIP) might not stretch to all your expenses, particularly damage to your vehicle.
We recommend reviewing your policy to see if uninsured or underinsured motorists are covered.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Florida
In Florida, drivers are not required to have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. But having it in your policy can be hugely beneficial. This coverage kicks in when:
You're involved in an accident with a driver who doesn't have any liability insurance.
The other driver's insurance isn't enough to pay for all the damages and injuries they cause.
When the other driver fled the scene before you could exchange insurance information.
Types of UM Coverage
There are four main types of uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage: uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI), underinsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI), uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD), and underinsured motorist property damage (UIMPD).
Each type provides essential protection in the event of an accident where the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance to cover the costs.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) helps with medical expenses for injuries caused by an uninsured driver, while underinsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) covers costs if the at-fault driver's insurance is not enough to cover medical expenses.
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) can help with repairs or replacement of the insured's vehicle if the at-fault driver does not have insurance, and underinsured motorist property damage (UIMPD) comes into play when the at-fault driver's insurance is insufficient to cover the property damage.
Is UM Coverage Necessary?
Although uninsured motorist coverage isn't mandatory in Florida, we strongly recommend considering it. It can help cover costs not covered by personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage coverage. These can include pain and suffering, mental distress, loss of consortium, future lost wages, and medical expenses. Even if you have health insurance, uninsured motorist coverage can cover expenses not covered by health insurance and protect against uninsured drivers.
What to Do After a Hit and Run to Strengthen Your Case
If you ever get caught in a hit-and-run, don't go chasing after the driver. It's not going to do much for your case, and it's risky. Instead, just stay put and try to remember everything about the other vehicle: color, make, model, license plate, and any other specific defining features.
Next, make sure everyone's okay, get medical help if needed, and call the cops. Also, gather witness accounts and any security footage to back up your claim. Then, talk to your insurance, but don't settle without talking to your lawyer first.
Taking each of these steps can strengthen your case and increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Because even in a hit-and-run, you still have rights and options. So don't give up hope; seek legal advice and pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
I've Explored Every Option and Still No Luck. Can I Sue?
If you've explored all your insurance options, but still have no luck, then you may consider filing a lawsuit. However, this should be the last resort as it can be time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining.
Before deciding to sue, make sure to thoroughly discuss your case with your lawyer and assess the potential costs and benefits. They can guide you through the process and help you make an informed decision.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you've been involved in a hit-and-run accident and are unsure of your legal options, we're here to help. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we have a wealth of experience handling personal injury cases, including hit-and-run accidents throughout the nearby areas of Davie, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Weston, Sunrise, and Plantation.
Remember, at the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A., your case is our priority. Our car accident attorneys are ready to stand by your side and guide you through these challenging times. We may not be able to undo what happened, but we can certainly help make the journey ahead a little easier. Don't hesitate to reach out to us today for a free consultation. Let us fight for your rights and fair compensation.