Do I Need a Lawyer After a Hit and Run Accident in Fort Walton Beach?

If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, you may be confused about your next steps. How do you go about obtaining compensation for your losses if you don’t know who caused them? What are your legal options? Can you get some money from your own auto insurance? 

An experienced Fort Walton Beach car accident lawyer from Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers can review your circumstances and explain how a lawyer can help.

What Is a Hit and Run? 

A hit-and-run occurs when someone is involved in a motor vehicle accident and does not stop to fulfill their legal obligations. This type of accident could involve an injury to another driver, a bicyclist, scooter rider, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or other road user. 

Laws on Hit And Run Crashes

Florida law requires any motorist involved in a collision that results in property damage to immediately stop and remain at the scene until they have completed the following requirements:

  • Provide their name, address, and vehicle registration number
  • Display their driver’s license if requested
  • Render aid to anyone injured in the accident

If the accident results in personal injury or death, the driver is also required to report the accident to the nearest appropriate law enforcement agency. 

Failing to uphold these legal responsibilities is considered a crime. The severity of the crime and possible punishments depend on the severity of the crash. A crash involving only property damage is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail

If the accident results in serious injury, the crime is considered a third-degree felony, resulting in a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment. If the accident results in serious bodily injury, the crime is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment. 

Dangers of Hit and Run Accidents

Dangers of Hit and Run Accidents

Hit and run accidents can be very dangerous. First, a victim is left at the scene. They may be unconscious and unable to call for help. This can result in a delay in medical treatment. 

Second, they may be left in a vulnerable state where they could be harmed by subsequent accidents caused by unsuspecting motorists who happen upon the scene. 

Common Reasons for Hit and Runs 

Hit and run crashes often occur because the offender is committing some other type of crime or traffic violation, such as:

  • Fleeing from a crime scene
  • Driving without insurance
  • Driving recklessly 
  • Street racing 
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Texting while driving

Sometimes, the offender may simply be scared after causing the accident and flee the scene out of fear.

Regardless of the reason for the hit and run, these accidents tend to result in serious injuries for the victim. 

Common Hit and Run Accident Injuries

Hit and run accidents can result in serious, catastrophic, and fatal injuries, which may include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries and head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries, including partial or complete paralysis
  • Complex or multiple fractures
  • Permanently-disabling injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Amputations
  • Severe burns

These injuries often require significant medical intervention and treatment. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you need. 

How a Lawyer Can Help After a Hit and Run

Hit and run accidents can be traumatizing. They can also result in serious injuries that make it difficult to focus on anything else. You may have questions and concerns about your legal options, which a knowledgeable lawyer can address.

A lawyer can help with a hit and run claim by:

  • Explaining Florida insurance laws and statutes of limitations
  • Cooperating with authorities to obtain information about the fleeing driver
  • Investigating the accident to identify the at-fault driver and other parties responsible for the crash
  • Reviewing all applicable insurance policies that may provide coverage for the crash
  • Calculating the damages you suffered in the accident
  • Pursuing compensation for the harm you have suffered
  • Negotiating with the insurance company for fair compensation on your behalf

Our attorneys provide a free consultation to explain your rights, legal options, and how we can help. Learn more by contacting us today and requesting your free case review. 

Options for Recovering Compensation After a Florida Hit and Run Accident

If you were injured in an accident caused by a hit and run driver, you may have several options in Florida for pursuing compensation for your accident-related losses, including:

  • Filing a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim – Florida is a no-fault insurance state, so you turn to your own insurer for coverage after an accident, regardless of fault. This type of insurance claim covers up to 80% of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses and up to 60% of your lost wages, subject to a maximum of $10,000. 
  • Filing an uninsured motorist claim – If you’ve chosen to purchase UM/UIM insurance coverage, you can file a claim against your own policy for compensation.
  • In some instances, law enforcement may be able to locate the driver after investigatory work. If that is the case, you may be able to pursue a legal claim against them if the crash was especially serious.
  • Identifying other parties responsible for the accident – Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, other parties could have contributed to the accident, such as another driver, the hit and run driver’s employer, or an establishment that served a drunk driver. 

An experienced car accident attorney can review the circumstances of your case and determine all of your available options. 

If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, you deserve justice and accountability for the harm you have suffered. An experienced Fort Walton Beach car accident lawyer for Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers can review the circumstances of your case, advise you of your legal options, and represent your interests throughout the claims process. Contact us today at (850) 863-5297 for a free consultation.