Clearwater Hit & Run Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a crash is an unsettling experience, and a downright terrifying one if the crash is serious and injuries are severe. What little comfort one finds may be in the fact that in Florida, drivers are required to carry insurance. But if the driver who hit you flees the scene, those feelings of fear, anxiety, and frustration may be compounded.
If you’ve been in a crash with a driver who left the scene, our Clearwater hit & run accident lawyers at The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group can help.
Who Pays for Damages in a Hit-and-Run Accident?
While drivers are required by law to stop at the scene of an accident and exchange information with one another, a driver may flee the scene following an accident due to a number of reasons, including things like intoxication or a failure of the driver to carry mandatory insurance. If you’re involved in a crash with a hit-and-run driver, you may be wondering, “Who will pay for my damages?”
The good news–if it can be called that–is that in Florida, each party involved in a crash will turn to their own insurance company first for compensation, regardless of fault. The claim will be processed through the policyholder’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which is required in an amount of at least $10,000 in our state. This type of insurance will pay for medical costs after a crash.
Once your PIP benefits coverage is exhausted, you may be able to turn to your own insurance for other forms of compensation as well. If you carry collision coverage, medical and funeral service payments coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or a handful of other coverage types, you can seek compensation.
What If the Other Driver Is Located?
In some cases, the at-fault driver who fled the scene is apprehended. If this is the case, they may face criminal charges for their actions. You will also reserve the right to bring forth a civil claim for damages against them. However, note that they may not carry insurance or have the means to pay your claim out of pocket (indeed, this may be why they fled the scene in the first place). If recovering compensation through the at-fault driver is an impossibility, our Clearwater hit-and-run accident lawyers will work hard to identify any other potentially liable parties and sources of compensation.
Call Our Clearwater Hit-and-Run Accident Attorneys Today
There are few things more upsetting and stressful than being involved in a car accident, especially one that involves a hit-and-run driver. If you have been in a crash with a driver who fled the scene, you still have rights, and you still deserve to be compensated. To learn more about your options and how working with a Clearwater hit-and-run accident lawyer from our law firm can serve you, please reach out to us directly for a free consultation. We can review your case free of charge, and will work on your case on a contingency fee basis.
Clearwater DUI Accident Lawyer
Drunk driving is a serious problem in Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that over a 10-year period in Florida, there were more than 8,470 people killed in crashes involving a drunk driver.
When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, they take their life–and the lives of others–into their own hands at great risk. If you or a loved one has been injured by the actions of a drunk driver in Clearwater, our Clearwater DUI accident lawyers can help.
What to Do After a Crash with a Drunk Driver
If you’ve been involved in a crash and you suspect that the driver was drinking, you’ll need to take action immediately to ensure that the crash is documented, the other driver’s intoxication or impairment is recorded, and that you are treated for your injuries.
The first thing that you should do, if you are able, is to move your vehicle to a safe location and make sure no one is suffering from critical injuries. Then, you should call 911 to report the accident.
As you wait for police to arrive at the accident scene, be sure to document as much as you can about the accident. This should include taking pictures of the accident scene, writing down the names of any eyewitnesses, and recording signs of alcohol intoxication, such as the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath.
When the police arrive, make sure you note your suspicions of intoxication. If the police have probable cause to do so, they can perform a breathalyzer test, blood alcohol test, or/and roadside sobriety test.
You Deserve to Be Compensated
While Florida maintains no-fault car insurance laws, if your injuries are serious, you reserve the right to step outside of the no-fault system and bring a claim directly against the at-fault party. For your claim to be successful, you’ll need to prove that the other driver was at fault. This is where the documentation that you collected at the scene of the accident, including the police report, can come in handy. Note that even if the at-fault driver did not have a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or above (the legal limit in Clearwater), you can still hold them liable for your damages if you can prove that your accident and injuries would not have occurred but for their negligence.
Call Our Clearwater Hit & Run Accident Lawyers Today
Being involved in a hit & run or DUI accident can be a terrifying experience, and one that leaves you with serious injuries and losses. If you have been harmed in a crash, our experienced Clearwater hit & run accident lawyers at the office of The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group can help. Our team is passionate about providing excellent legal services to those who need these services the most. We work on a contingency fee basis, and always offer free consultations. Call us today or send us a message to get started.