Next Steps After a Hit and Run
What to Do if You Or a Family Member is Involved in a Hit and Run Accident
After a hit and run accident you should first call 911 if you believe you are injured. If you are okay and you don’t need immediate medical assistance, it’s ok to go to a walk in clinic on your own (within the first 14 days). If you are in stable condition take a picture of the other vehicle or write down the license plate number or do your best to remember it. Most of the time people are involved in hit and runs the offending vehicle stops for a short period of time, and then flees. Don’t assume that the vehicle responsible for the accident will pull into a safe area behind you. Our office has seen numerous cases where the defendant driver will follow the vehicle they just hit, once the other vehicle stops the defendant will flee. It is also important for you to get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses that may have seen the car accident, do not wait to do this, and don’t assume the police will do this either. Many people fail to do this and they are left in a difficult position where it is their word against the other driver’s or there is no one to corroborate the accident at all.
Stop After an Accident, It’s the Law.
Some people automatically assume that a defendant driver will stop and check to see if the other party is okay because it’s the right thing to do, it is also the law. In the event of a motor vehicle accident with injuries Florida law requires “[t]he driver of a vehicle involved in a crash occurring on public or private property which results in serious bodily injury to a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash, or as close thereto as possible, and shall remain at the scene of the crash until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of s. 316.062.” If the other party fails to stop after a motor vehicle collision they could be facing a criminal sentence and a civil lawsuit. In cases where the perpetrator is caught by the police, they normally have no insurance or license, and the injured party is left to address their losses without recourse against the defendant.