Do I Need a Lawyer After a Hit and Run Accident in Clearwater?
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Filing a hit-and-run accident claim can be complicated; these claims can differ from ordinary car accident claims. Therefore, consulting with a car accident lawyer gives you the information you need to protect your right to recover compensation for damages caused by a hit-and-run driver.
Hit and Run Accidents Are Common In Florida
In 2021, there were 109,325 hit-and-run crashes in Florida. Fatal hit-and-run accidents resulted in 308 traffic fatalities. Additionally, there were 163,704 crashes involving hit-and-run motorists that resulted in an injury.
A hit-and-run accident can cause significant damages and traumatic injuries. An accident victim may incur economic damages including:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of income, wages, and benefits
- Travel expenses to medical appointments
- Personal care and in-home nursing care
- Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
Additionally, an accident victim experiences pain and suffering after a hit-and-run accident. Non-economic damages for a hit-and-run accident include:
- Physical discomfort and pain
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- Reduced quality of life
If you sustain a permanent impairment because of a hit-and-run accident, you might have future damages. A permanent impairment may result in future lost wages and diminished earning capacity. You may also require ongoing medical care and long-term nursing or personal care.
Filing a No-Fault Insurance Claim for a Hit and Run Accident
Florida requires all drivers to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP is no-fault insurance. It pays benefits regardless of who caused a car accident.
Therefore, you file a claim with your PIP provider when a hit-and-run driver causes an accident. Your no-fault car insurance covers up to 80 percent of medical bills and 60 percent of lost wages. However, no-fault insurance does not pay other damages, including non-economic damages.
Even though no-fault insurance claims should be straightforward, insurance companies dispute claims. Your insurance company might deny claims for many reasons, including failing to seek medical care within 14 days from the accident date. The company might claim that your injuries are not severe enough to qualify for maximum medical benefits.
An attorney can help you with a no-fault insurance claim. The attorney can also help file an uninsured motorist claim.
What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?
If you sustain serious injuries in a hit-and-run accident, the hit-and-run driver is responsible for your damages. First, however, you need to identify the hit-and-run driver to file a claim. An attorney monitors the law enforcement investigation and searches for videos and other evidence to identify the driver who caused your traffic crash.
An attorney can also help you seek compensation from your uninsured motorist insurance provider. Uninsured motorist insurance covers accidents caused by uninsured drivers. It also applies to hit-and-run accidents.
Many states require drivers to have minimum coverage for uninsured motorist accidents. However, Florida does not require this type of car insurance coverage. The first step is determining if you have uninsured motorist insurance.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance provider should compensate you for your damages and losses caused by a hit-and-run accident. However, you must prove that you were injured in the crash to qualify for compensation. You also have the burden of proving the value of your damages.
Even though you are dealing with your insurance provider when filing a hit-and-run accident claim, it does not mean your insurance company treats you fairly. Insurance claims adjusters protect the best interest of the insurance company. Therefore, they work to reduce the value of your claim if they cannot find a way to deny your claim entirely.
How Can an Attorney Help Me After a Hit and Run Accident?
Hit and run accidents are frustrating. You did not cause the car crash, but you are the one who has to pay for the consequences. An attorney helps you seek compensation for damages by:
- Investigating the car accident to gather evidence proving another driver caused the crash
- Monitor the investigation by law enforcement agencies
- Search for the identity of the hit-and-run driver
- Identify all available insurance coverage and file insurance claims
- Work with you to document your damages to calculate the value of your injury claim
- Negotiate settlements with insurance companies
- Prepare and file lawsuits as necessary
Insurance claims and personal injury claims related to hit-and-run crashes can be confusing. Hiring a car accident lawyer can make the claims process less frustrating and stressful. It can also improve your chances of recovering maximum compensation for a hit-and-run accident claim.
Contact the Pinellas County Car Accident Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg car accident law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve in Pinellas County, and its surrounding areas:
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,