Do I Need a Lawyer After a Hit and Run Accident?

Any car accident can be a traumatic experience. When the other driver fails to stop, it’s even more important to take action to protect your rights. Getting legal help is the first step.

If you’re wondering “do I need a lawyer after a hit and run accident,” call our Gainesville car accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm, P.A. today. We offer a free consultation so that you can learn more about your legal options.

How Allen Law Firm, P.A. Can Help With Your Gainesville Hit and Run Accident Claim

hit and run

Hit and run accidents can be particularly frustrating. When someone fails to take responsibility for their careless driving, accident victims are left wondering how they’ll pay their medical bills and get on with their lives. Hiring a lawyer after a hit and run accident can make all the difference in the world.

If the driver isn’t quickly located, hit and run accident victims often give up hope of recovering compensation. A lawyer can help get your case back on track. We can even investigate to find the responsible driver. In other words–an experienced Gainesville personal injury lawyer can mean the difference between zero compensation and a full financial recovery.

Hiring Allen Law Firm, P.A. means you’ll have a lawyer in your corner to:

  • Investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident
  • Coordinate with local law enforcement to locate the at-fault driver
  • Identify any other parties who might share in the blame
  • Explain your legal options and provide sound legal guidance throughout the entire recovery process
  • Hire experts and specialists in medicine, accident reconstruction, forensics, and any other fields that might be relevant to provide evidence to support your personal injury claim
  • Negotiate a settlement award that fully accounts for your past, present, and future costs

Pursuing fair compensation in a hit and run accident takes experience, resource, and determination. Our lawyers are up to the challenge. We’re known for getting results for our injured clients. That means winning fair settlements and verdicts against careless drivers.

We’ll do everything we can to hold the parties responsible for your auto accident accountable. All you have to do is reach out and ask for help. You can call our law offices to set up your free case review at your convenience.

What is a Hit and Run Accident?

A hit and run accident is any type of motor vehicle accident where one driver fails to remain at the scene of the crash.

Pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents often involve hit and run drivers.

In Florida, it’s a crime to flee the scene of an accident. Unfortunately, it’s also not uncommon for drivers to flee. 

Some reasons a driver might opt to leave the scene include:

  • Lack of proper insurance
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving without a valid driver’s license
  • Immigration fears
  • Fear of arrest
  • And more
pedestrian hit and run

There’s never a valid excuse to leave someone suffering by the side of the road.

If you were injured in a hit and run accident, hiring an experienced car accident attorney gives you the strongest chance of getting justice for your injuries.

What Should I Do After a Hit and Run Accident?

The moments immediately following a hit and run accident can be chaotic. They can also be vital to locating the driver. Prompt medical care should be your immediate priority if anyone is seriously hurt. However, to protect your future right to financial compensation, you should also try to:

  • Memorize the hit and run driver’s license plate
  • Take note of the vehicle make and model
  • Call 911 for help
  • Take note of the facts before you forget, whether by typing them into your smartphone or writing them down
  • Look around to see if anyone witnessed the crash and exchange contact information
  • Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including surrounding buildings or homes
  • Call an experienced car accident attorney

Modern technology has made video surveillance more widespread than ever before. After a crash, we may be able to locate video surveillance footage taken outside a business, from a red light, or even from a private home.

However, the sooner you act, the better. Not all video footage is stored indefinitely. Some camera footage is destroyed within days. Our attorneys at Allen Law Firm, P.A. can get to work immediately to preserve valuable evidence in your case. 

We Handle All Types of Hit and Run Injury Cases in Gainesville, FL

brain injuries

Hit and run accidents can result in serious injuries.

An experienced personal injury attorney in Gainesville can help you get the money you need–and hold the negligent driver accountable. We’ll fight for compensation for all of your accident injuries, including:

  • Brain injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Concussions
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Chest injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Amputations 
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations and puncture wounds
  • Organ damage
  • Paralysis
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Wrongful death of a loved one

Hit and run drivers shouldn’t be allowed to leave accident victims to shoulder the financial burden of their actions. At Allen Law Firm, P.A., we’ll do everything we can to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law. All you have to do is call to arrange your free case review.

Are There Criminal Penalties For Failure to Stop at the Scene of an Accident?

Leaving the scene of an accident involving damage to vehicles or property is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. In addition to financial penalties, the driver can face up to 60 days in jail.

Hit and run accidents involving injury or death are much more serious crimes. A driver who leaves the scene of a crash that causes non-serious injuries is guilty of a third-degree felony. If the victim’s injuries were serious, the hit-and-run driver can be convicted on second-degree felony charges.

Even if criminal charges are imposed, accident victims retain the right to sue for damages in civil court. In fact, a criminal conviction can be used as evidence of negligence in your injury case. 

Florida Statute of Limitations in Hit and Run Cases

An experienced personal injury lawyer will immediately take steps to make sure you meet all relevant deadlines in your case. One of the most important deadlines is the statute of limitations. 

In Florida, you lose your right to compensation if you don’t file a personal injury lawsuit within four years of the accident. Surviving family members have only two years to sue for wrongful death.

Timing is particularly important in hit and run accidents. Evidence of the driver’s identity tends to disappear over time. Taking action right away gives you the best chance of locating the at-fault driver and holding them accountable.

We Fight to Get the Full Amount of Compensation Available to Hit and Run Accident Victims in Gainesville

At Allen Law Firm, P.A., our top priority is maximizing your compensation award if you were hurt in a crash. 

Our attorneys will fight to recover full compensation for your:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost future earning potential
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Long-term care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Psychological counseling
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Property damage
  • Damages for wrongful death
Medical bill and insurance form with calculator

Hit and run accidents are often caused by distracted and drunk drivers. In all cases, a hit and run is an intentional act. In these situations, accident victims may also have the right to punitive damages. Punitive damages are rarely awarded because they’re designed only to punish the defendant.

However, in these shocking situations where the defendant’s acts were intentional, a judge might be inclined to award the full range of penalties.

What Happens if the Police Can’t Find the Hit and Run Driver?

Florida is a no-fault insurance state. That means you can recover compensation from your own insurance company even if the police aren’t able to locate the hit and run driver. In fact, you’re always required to file an insurance claim against your own policy before pursuing an at-fault driver.

Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage provides compensation for things like medical bills and lost wages. You might also have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage that kicks in when the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient coverage.

It’s always valuable to consult a personal injury lawyer after a hit and run accident. This is true even if you don’t expect police to find the hit and run driver. We can use our own investigation to locate the driver–and we can help you negotiate a fair settlement with your insurance carrier.

Still Wondering Whether You Need a Lawyer After a Hit and Run Accident? Call a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer to Learn More

If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident, you have legal rights. When you’re wondering “do I need a lawyer after a hit and run accident”, the answer is probably yes. 

At Allen Law Firm, P.A., our trusted Gainesville personal injury lawyers can walk you through the legal process. We’ll do everything we can to stand up for your rights. Ready to learn more? Just call for a free consultation.