When you are the victim of a serious car accident in which you suffer injuries, your whole world is turned upside down. The feeling of being overwhelmed by the situation is compounded when the driver who caused the accident flees the scene. Unfortunately, Broward County has one of the largest numbers of hit and run accidents. Between 2012 and 2014, there were 28,017 hit and run accidents, according to the Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Miami-Dade, the only county with more hit and run accidents, had 49,870 during the same years. If you or a loved one needs help determining what to do next, we recommend you call our firm at 954-767-6500 to request a free consultation with a hit and run accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale.
Types of Injuries Sustained In a Hit and Run Accident
Car accidents can cause a broad range of injuries to drivers and passengers. Even low-speed collisions can cause minor to severe injuries. Some common injuries sustained in hit and run accidents include:
Victims with existing health problems may experience other types of injuries. A person with heart problems, for instance, may suffer traumatic cardiac arrest that requires immediate medical attention.
Some injuries do not reveal themselves for weeks or months. It’s possible that a herniated disk will not become painful until after the accident. Psychological issues such as phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may not become evident until later. Treating these problems often involves medication and extensive therapy.
Since Florida has a no-fault insurance system, the injured person’s policy should pay for much of the treatment needed after an auto accident. Depending on the severity of the injury, though, an individual’s insurance policy may not cover all necessary procedures. Victims who are too injured to work can also suffer lost wages.
Is a hit and run accident a crime?
Drivers who commit hit and run accidents may not know what specific charges they face until after they learn what happened to the victims. All drivers found guilty of hit and run accidents, however, have committed some level of felony in Florida.
If the victims suffer minor injuries, then the hit and run driver is guilty of a third-degree felony. If the victims suffer severe bodily injuries, then the driver has committed a second-degree felony. If someone dies during or as a result of the hit and run, then the driver has committed a first-degree felony.
Anyone found guilty of a first-degree felony must spend a minimum four years in prison. All people convicted of hit and run accidents will lose their licenses for at least three years. They may also face fines and jail time.
Pursuing Compensation after a Hit and Run Accident in Fort Lauderdale
Seeking compensation for injuries caused by a typical car accident is often a straightforward process. Hit and run accidents are more complicated since you may not know whom to hold responsible. If a police investigation finds the guilty person, then you may choose to file a lawsuit that names the driver as a defendant.
Contact the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500 to learn more about how you can receive financial compensation for property damage, medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses.