It’s illegal to hit someone and flee the scene of the accident in Florida, whether it’s a pedestrian accident or an auto accident. Unfortunately, it happens far too often. If you’ve been hit by a careless driver who left the scene of the accident, this leaves you in a horrible situation because you have no way of contacting the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Moreover, your injuries may result in thousands of dollars in medical bills; you may have to miss work; and you may need medical treatment and rehabilitation for the foreseeable future. Who is going to pay for all of that? There’s hope, and that’s what this article is all about.
Top 5 Ways to Get Compensation After an Orlando Hit and Run Accident
When you’ve been the victim of a hit and run, it can leave you feeling powerless. That driver broke all the rules, and now you’re stuck with a burden you didn’t ask for. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to find the driver or otherwise get financial help with your medical bills after you’ve been the victim of a hit and run in Florida.
One: Contact the Police Immediately
One of the best ways to ensure that the at-fault driver is found is to call the police immediately after the accident. Give the police any information you can remember about the vehicle, including the make, model, size, and approximate year. Additionally, tell the police whatever you can remember about the hit and run driver’s license plate, including the state, color of the license plate, and any numbers or letters you can remember. Finally, tell the police what color your vehicle is and which part of the at-fault driver’s vehicle made contact with yours. That way, the police could identify the at-fault driver by the location of the damage on the vehicle. Moreover, some of the paint from your vehicle could have scraped off onto the at-fault driver’s vehicle, which could help identify the driver. Try not to leave out any of these details when speaking to the police because even a trivial little detail could lead to the discovery of the at-fault driver.
Two: Find the At-Fault Driver Using Cameras at the Scene of the Accident
There are cameras everywhere. Although this is frightening in some ways, it can also be very useful in an Orlando hit and run accident. Every business or building around the scene of the hit and run accident could have cameras that recorded the incident. Additionally, certain modern vehicles record data and video around them, and you may be able to obtain this information. However, the cameras at businesses and on vehicles do not store the information forever. Therefore, it’s critical to get that information as soon as possible after the accident. This is where contacting an attorney quickly can help because your attorney can send out a spoliation letter or “letter of preservation” immediately after your accident to be sure that valuable evidence is not destroyed or deleted.
Three: Find the At-Fault Driver Through Eyewitnesses of the Hit and Run
When someone is the victim of a hit and run accident near downtown Orlando, near the Mall at Millenia, near Disney World or Universal Studios, or near some other crowded area, there are often eyewitnesses to the accident. Sometimes, these people even have videos or photos of the scene of the accident or of the accident itself. The testimony of these people, as well as their videos or photos, could help to identify the hit and run driver. Thus, you should try to get their contact information or have them hang around after the accident to talk to the police so that you have a better chance of finding the at-fault driver.
Four: Use Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to Cover Your Medical Bills
In Florida, drivers are required to have personal injury protection, sometimes called “PIP.” This is sometimes referred to as no fault auto insurance. The purpose of PIP coverage is to give injured drivers up to $10,000 in immediate medical coverage, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. It’s essentially no-questions-asked money to be used for your medical treatment. Therefore, if you are driving your vehicle and you’re the victim of a hit and run accident in Orlando, you likely have $10,000 in PIP coverage available to you that you can use on medical treatment for your injuries.
Five: Get Compensated Through Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Although PIP coverage is a great way to get help with your medical bills, you may be wondering what to do if your medical bills exceed the $10,000. That’s where uninsured motorist coverage (UM) comes into play. In addition to PIP, you may have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your Florida auto insurance policy. If so, you may be able to get help with your medical bills that exceed $10,000. That’s why we strongly recommend that our clients (and anyone who is reading this) call their insurance company and make sure they have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. You never know when you might need it, and it can be a life saver when you do.