A story in the news recently brought home how reckless and irresponsible some Florida drivers can be. At approximately 1AM on a Friday morning, an unidentified driver struck a pedestrian in the eastbound lanes of I-195 near North Miami Avenue, and then kept going, leaving the victim in the middle of the road. It is possible that inclement weather may have played a role in the accident, but due to the lack of witness accounts and the driver leaving the scene, the cause is unclear.
Although the Highway Patrol is actively searching for the driver – seeking a vehicle with extensive damage to the front end and possibly a broken headlight – no witnesses were able to give a description of the hit-and-run vehicle, so they do not have any identifying information such as make, model, year, or even color. FHP is requesting that anyone with a possible lead call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers (305-471-TIPS).
Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident
In the case of any Florida vehicle accident, all drivers involved are required by law to remain at the scene to render aid if possible, as well as exchange insurance information, await the arrival of the police, and generally take responsibility for their actions – even in the case of a single-car accident not causing harm to another person. The penalties for leaving the scene can be severe. Unfortunately, all too many times drivers leave the scene of an accident for a variety of reasons: because they are intoxicated, uninsured, not licensed, driving someone else’s vehicle (borrowed or stolen), or know that they have outstanding warrants, for example.
FHP reports that hit-and-run accidents are on the rise in our state, with Miami-Dade and Broward Counties ranking first and second in number of hit-and-runs. Florida roads and highways are the scene of over ten percent of all pedestrian accidents in the US, and a startling number of these are hit-and-run cases. Personal injury and/or wrongful death often result from such accidents, and receiving compensation for such a devastating incident can be difficult, especially if the at-fault party left the scene immediately without taking responsibility for his or her actions. As an injured person or a surviving family member, you do have legal rights to compensation, from the responsible party and/or insurance companies of those involved. If you can identify the driver who hit you, you can sue for compensation for your injuries, as well as medical bills and lost wages.
A Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Even if you cannot identify the hit-and-run driver, you do have some legal options for compensation. Personal Injury Protection coverage may pay for some medical bills, and uninsured motorist coverage may also cover expenses from a hit-and-run accident. An experienced hit-and-run accident attorney can help you evaluate your claim, deal with insurance companies, and pursue legal actions against the responsible driver if/when he or she can be identified.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and have questions about what to do next, contact our Fort Lauderdale office and one of our car accident attorneys will gladly answer your questions at no cost.