Between 2013 and 2014, the number of hit and run accidents in Florida increased from approximately 77,000 to about 84,000. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, hit and run collisions in Miami and other cities is increasing, and the numbers are already dangerously high. The department had made a commitment to addressing the problem by raising awareness around the issue and stepping up enforcement.
The Florida Highway Patrol reports that many hit and run drivers leave the scene of the accident because:
- They are not licensed to drive
- They are driving with a suspended license
- They have no insurance
- They are not eligible for insurance or a license
- They are driving drunk or drugged
- They have outstanding warrants
- They do not want to pay for insurance increases
No matter what the reason, leaving the scene of an accident is against the law, and authorities are working to find drivers who are involved in hit and run collisions. Details of these cases is published online and in the media so that the public can come forward with information. In addition, body shops are also sometimes able to provide clues that can help police catch these drivers.
In the meantime, drivers need to be aware of the risks of hit and run drivers. Unfortunately, these motorists leave injured victims behind and in some cases their negligence leads to medical complications if the victim is too injured to call for help immediately. Without the at-fault driver’s contact and insurance information, it can also be difficult for injured victims to get the compensation they need for medical bills and other costs.
According to authorities, there are several things that drivers can do:
1) Get underinsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
The best protection you have against hit and run drivers is to have your own insurance company cover you through underinsured and underinsured driver coverage. Get the most robust protection you can afford to enjoy some peace of mind.
2) Carry a mobile phone with you and take a photo (if you can) of fleeing drivers.
Getting a photo or quickly noting the license plate number can help police find the driver. At that point, you can pursue the motorist in court or have the police file criminal charges.
3) If you see a hit and run, cooperate with police to find the driver.
If you are a witness, step forward. Police make anonymous tip lines available for this purpose if you don’t feel comfortable going to a local police station to report the crime.
4) If you are injured in a hit and run accident, pursue the at-fault driver to the fullest extent of the law.
If you are in a car or pedestrian accident in Miami or any community with a driver who does not stop to offer assistance and exchange contact information, contact the police and a personal injury attorney immediately to find out what can be done. You may have coverage under your own policy or the suspect may still be apprehended. The more quickly you act, the more likely it is that some evidence will still remain.
Are you looking for an aggressive and experienced personal injury attorney? If you have been injured, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case review to discuss the facts of your case. Whether you want answers or are ready to have an attorney negotiate with your insurance carrier, our law firm will work to address your concerns.