As an accident attorney in Miami, my job is to protect my clients’ rights, and that includes after one has been in a hit-and-run. If you are in a situation like this, here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions that may shed some light on your options:
What should I do immediately after being hit?
Your first objective should always be to stay safe. If your situation appears secure, look around and try to gather any details you can about the vehicle that hit you. If that means quickly taking a picture of the other driver’s license plate number, do it. Otherwise, try to at least get the make, model, color, and general year of the vehicle. This will help officers track down the person who actually hit you, since drivers involved in an accident are required to remain on the scene.
Will the police help find the person who hit me?
When you call 911, let them know what happened and give a description of the vehicle. Doing so immediately can give officers in the area the opportunity to keep an eye out for the offending vehicle. It is common for the responsible driver in a hit-and-run to subsequently hit something or someone else because of bad driving, intoxication, or something similar. With the description of the vehicle that hit you available, the police may catch them later that day and put the pieces together.
Should I file an accident report?
Absolutely. An officer should come to the scene and complete a report with you. This is an important step to take, both for catching the person who hit you and also for proving that they did. The accident report is required by law, so you do not want to skip it. Simultaneously, if you do end up in court due to the accident, you want to have the benefits of all possible evidence, including the accident report, available to you.
Who will pay for my medical bills?
Florida requires all drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which means that regardless of who hit you, your insurance will pay for you to receive medical care and to have your vehicle repaired. The only problem with this is that you will be limited to the coverage amounts specified in your policy. When you are hit by someone you can identify, you have other options such as going after them via a civil lawsuit. Ideally, the police will find the person who hit you, so you will have those options. To discuss them, call my office and schedule a consultation.
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