The state of Florida saw an astounding 92,623 hit-and-run crashes in 2015. Nearly 200 people were killed in those accidents. The Florida Highway Patrol aims to raise awareness about hit-and-run accidents through annual awareness campaigns, but the state still saw 7,468 more hit-and-runs in 2015 than the year before. While some of these cases are never solved, detectives are often able to find the culprits of hit-and-runs through evidence such as car parts left at the scene, video recordings and the testimony of witnesses or victims.
Florida drivers who are caught and convicted on charges of leaving the scene of an accident can be jailed and fined, with imprisonment and other increased penalties for drivers who flee an accident scene where someone was injured or killed.
Options for the injured
Those who are injured in a Florida hit-and-run accident are put in a difficult position. There is no driver to sue for the cost of your injuries or other medical expenses. That means you will need to rely on your own insurance coverage.
All Florida drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which allows them to recover compensation from their own insurer no matter who is at fault for an accident. In many cases, however, medical expenses and other costs greatly exceed the amount of PIP coverage that a hit-and-run victim carries. Those who carry another optional type of coverage, known as Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage (UM/UIM), are often able to recover additional compensation to defray these costs. While Florida does not require drivers to carry UM/UIM coverage, this protection can make a huge difference after a hit-and-run or an accident with an uninsured driver.
If you or a family member has suffered injuries in a hit-and-run accident, speak to the experienced Bradenton auto accident attorneys at the firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh to learn your rights.