West Palm Beach Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
What constitutes a "hit & run" accident?
The term "hit and run accident" is exactly what it sounds like, as these types of car accidents occur when a driver intentionally or unintentionally causes an accident and subsequently flees the scene. While every state in the U.S. has made this a crime, it unfortunately has not stopped drivers from engaging in this unlawful behavior. In fact, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that the number of hit and run accidents has increased by 19% since 1999, and that 1 out of every 5 pedestrian fatalities is caused by a hit and run. While there are numerous reasons why a driver would rather flee the scene than offer their assistance, there is no excuse that can justify these actions—especially since it would then be the victim's responsibility to secure an adequate level of compensation from their own insurance company. If the victim has not acquired uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, they may even be expected to pay for the damages out-of-pocket.
How can I seek compensation if the driver didn't stop?
If you have been involved in an accident in which the other driver did not stop, you will be responsible for securing compensation through alternative means. Although you would typically file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company for the cost of your medical treatment, lost wages, vehicle repairs, etc., hit and run accidents can make this process a little trickier. Instead of claiming compensation from the other party, you would instead need to file an uninsured motorist (UM) claim with your own insurance company—assuming that you have previously acquired this form of coverage. It is important to understand that this form of coverage is not included in a mandatory bodily injury (BI) insurance policy, however, as you must specifically obtain uninsured motorist and/or underinsured motorist coverage if you hope to be protected after a hit and run accident or a collision with an uninsured driver.
Is uninsured motorist coverage mandatory in Florida?
Although numerous states throughout the U.S. require drivers to purchase a minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage, lawmakers have yet to make this mandatory for Florida drivers. This does not mean that you should forego it, however, as there are an extremely high number of uninsured drivers in the state—as well as countless others who would rather flee the scene of an accident than stop. For this reason, the West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo, P.A. encourages you to obtain an adequate level of uninsured motorist (UM) and/or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Should you fail to do so, you would be left with little to no options for recovering compensation after being involved in a hit and run accident. If you are unsure of whether or not you have acquired UM or UIM coverage or you would like an attorney to review your policy, contact our firm today for a free initial consultation.
Seeking Legal Aid After a Hit & Run in West Palm Beach
If you have recently been injured in a hit and run, you should not hesitate to get in touch with a West Palm Beach hit and run attorney from The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo, P.A. Our firm has helped numerous clients to secure compensation after a hit and run accident by filing a claim with their own insurance company, so we encourage you to find out how our dedicated legal team can assist you. Call today at (800) 690-7868 or submit a free case evaluation form online.