Here is how insurance covers hit-and-run accidents in Miami:
- Using your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance
- Using Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
- Settling a personal injury claim
Hit-and-run accidents are all too common in the state of Florida. Although many involve parking lot collisions, there is still a considerable number of accidents that end up in fatalities or serious injuries. In fact, there were 507,648 hit-and-runs from 2015 to 2019 that resulted in 1,037 fatalities. A large number of the fatalities occurring in hit-and-runs are pedestrians.
All motorists have the duty to stop and provide help to victims. If the victim dies as a result of a hit-and-run crash, this could have criminal consequences for the driver. Even in the case of a crash or collision with an unattended vehicle:
- The driver must stop
- Make reasonable efforts towards the owner of the second vehicle:
- Or leave a note with their contact details
Hit-and-run accidents are much more complicated. You can't take legal action against the driver who hit you unless the police catch them later because you rarely know who they were. Call 911 with as much information as you can about the other car, including what part of their car may be damaged. That can help the police track them down.
You need to understand that you should not chase the other driver. Doing so equals leaving the scene of the accident, which is highly dangerous and illegal (Florida's Statutes 316.061 and 316.063.)
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
Florida is a no-fault automobile insurance state. That concept means that regardless of who caused the accident, you can receive compensation for your injuries. Motor vehicle insurance in Florida must include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) that pays for:
- 80% of your emergency medical treatments
- Otherwise, only $2,500 in compensation
- 60% of your lost wages, up to $10,000
- Daily tasks like housekeeping
If your loved one is killed in a hit-and-run accident in Miami, PIP will cover some of the associated expenses. The decedent's next of kin is entitled to $5,000 to cover:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- End-of-life medical costs
- Lost wages
Using UM Coverage & Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage covers you if you're involved in a hit-and-run accident in situations involving significant injuries, since you do not have the hit-and-run driver's insurance information to file a claim for damages. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the amount of coverage you carry.
If your automobile insurance policy contains UM coverage, the policy can provide compensation for:
- Bodily injury
- Wrongful death
Your UM coverage usually will not compensate for your:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
If you were walking or riding a bike at the time of the accident, you can be covered under either:
- A policy that you or someone in your household owns (it names you as an insured)
- The uninsured motorist coverage that applies to one of the cars in the crash
If your insurer refuses to give you compensation, an experienced car accident lawyer in Miami can help you get the fair compensation you deserve.
If the police find the other driver and they're at least partially at fault for the accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them. Also, you can sue when your medical and other expenses covered by PIP are above $10,000. A personal injury lawsuit after a car wreck isn't all that rare, considering that serious accidents can lead to medical expenses of well over $50,000.
What Damages Can You Recover Following a Hit and Run Accident in Miami?
There are various types of damages hit-and-run victims can recover. Insurance companies will usually pay for all these damages as long as they are reasonable. If you have been injured in a hit and run, you may be entitled to monetary compensation that covers:
- Medical expenses, including:
- Hospital bills
- Surgery costs
- Long-term medical care
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Present and future lost wages. These damages are awarded in case the accident resulted in time off work for the victim, or they lost the ability to work as a result of the accident
- Pain and suffering. These damages are established based on the type of injury, the pain associated with the injury, and the way the injury will affect the victim in the future
- Punitive damages
Unfortunately, not all hit-and-run victims enjoy a fair and full settlement, although they are legally entitled to it. Giving a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster or signing a fast settlement before consulting an experienced car accident attorney is often a costly mistake.
It is highly important to refrain from giving statements to insurance companies, as you may unknowingly minimize your chance for a fair settlement. At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we can accurately analyze the circumstances of your case and advise you on the best course of action following a hit-and-run accident. There is a series of documents you should bring along to your consultation:
- Copy of statements given to the insurance company
- Copy of the accident report
- Copy of your insurance policy
- Copy of your medical records
- Copy of your pay records
- Copy of your psychological reports
- Evidence of insurance premium payments
- Pictures taken at the scene of the accident
- Photos of your injuries
- The other party's name and phone number
- Tickets related to the accident
Hit and Run Accident: How Can Miami Car Accident Lawyer Sean M. Cleary Help?
Hit-and-run accident victims in Miami need a personal injury attorney to file a claim and pursue compensation. We offer quality legal representation and aggressive advocacy to help our clients recover damages. Contact us for a free consultation and representation.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a hit-and-run accident in Florida, call us as soon as possible and bring along all available documents regarding your own insurance policy.
We know how frustrating it is not to be able to recover damages following a no-fault auto accident, so we do our best to help injured clients. For more details on your legal rights, call us today.