In Florida, a driver can face hit-and-run charges for leaving the scene of an accident before exchanging information with the other party or for failing to provide reasonable medical care to injured parties.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety, hit-and-runs are rising across the state. If you are a victim of an accident where the other driver leaves the scene, you should take some essential steps to protect yourself:
Call for help
You and your passengers may suffer injuries that are not present immediately due to shock and adrenaline spikes after the crash. Even if you feel fine, you should let emergency medical services check you for bodily damage.
Adrenaline can mask significant injuries for hours or days after an accident. The sooner you receive proper medical treatment, the sooner any unknown injuries can be attended to.
Additionally, calling law enforcement immediately ensures you can obtain a police report for any insurance claim you may file later. Because a hit-and-run is also a crime, law enforcement may be able to take witness statements or details that can help later.
Record the details
As soon as possible, you should take the time to write a full statement, including your recollection of the event. Be sure to note anything you can remember about the other vehicle, such as make, model, color and the direction the driver traveled after leaving the scene.
Call your insurance provider
If the police cannot locate the other driver, you may need to submit a claim to your insurance company. Your personal injury protection (PIP) policy can help pay for any medical bills you incur relating to the accident.
Knowing how to handle a hit-and-run accident will help ensure you are ready for whatever may happen when traveling Florida highways and interstates.