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Hit-and-run accidents can easily occur in busy Fort Lauderdale. From medical bills to lost time at work, a car accident can turn your life upside down. It may even result in the loss of a loved one. No one should get away with the serious crime of leaving the scene of an accident. If you or a loved one are seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident, you need to consult with a Fort Lauderdale hit and run accident lawyer.
You never know when an accident will happen. You could get hit by a distracted driver while crossing Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard to shop at the Gallery at Beach Place. Maybe you’re driving to the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale and get sideswiped while merging onto US 1. Do you enjoy riding your bike to have lunch at the Historic Downtowner on S New River Dr East? You could end up in a collision with someone who is texting while driving. A hit and run accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale will represent your best interests after an accident.
Whether you’re enjoying a day at the beach or taking in Fort Lauderdale’s cultural events, the possibility of a hit-and-run accident occurring is high. It could happen while you’re in your car, on foot, or riding a bicycle. Drivers from out of town, businesses, and popular beaches combine to create distractions that can cause an accident.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are not a rare occurrence in Florida. The state averages more than 103,000 hit-and-run accidents every year. In 2022, hit-and-run crashes resulted in 266 deaths, with 73 percent of deaths involving pedestrians or bicyclists.
In Florida, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime. According to Florida § 316.027, a driver who is involved in a crash that causes personal injury or death must “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” to provide identification and assistance if necessary.
Many types of hit-and-run accidents can occur in Fort Lauderdale. Some common examples include:
Florida is a no-fault state, which means that your insurance will cover part of your damages no matter who is at fault. There are two main ways to collect damages from injuries caused by a hit-and-run accident: personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
In Florida, all drivers are required to have PIP insurance with a minimum of $10,000 coverage. If you are injured in a hit-and-run accident and seek medical care within 14 days, your PIP policy will pay for:
After you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s important to have records of medical expenses and lost wages. Keep copies of medical bills from accident-related treatments, including emergency room visit, hospitalization, and doctor’s office appointments. If you lose income due to missed work, you’ll need pay stubs to prove your usual wages or salary.
UM insurance allows you to recover damages when the driver who caused the accident is uninsured. If the at-fault driver has insurance that is insufficient for your damages, your UIM policy will cover damages.
Although it is not required by law, Florida auto insurers must make UM/UIM available to their customers. If you decline, you must sign a statement showing that you opted out of the UM/UIM insurance. Your UM/UIM insurance will cover damages up to the liability limits of your insurance policy.
You may want to review your auto insurance policy to find out if you have UM/UIM coverage. Without it, you cannot recover damages caused by an uninsured hit-and-run driver. Even if you are seriously injured, you are limited to coverage from your PIP insurance.
According to Florida law, there are no valid excuses for leaving the scene of a car accident in Fort Lauderdale. However, many people have their own reasons for fleeing. Here are some of the reasons people give for leaving the scene of an accident:
Whatever the reason, leaving the scene of a car accident will only make matters worse. The injured party or parties do not know how to get in touch with the driver or what further steps they should take. The driver who flees can face serious criminal charges.
A hit-and-run accident is a criminal case because a party broke the law by leaving the scene of the accident. The state of Florida prosecutes hit-and-run cases. Even if the accident involves only property damage, Florida § 316.061 states that drivers must remain at the scene. If a person is found guilty of a hit-and-run crime, they can face the following penalties:
On the other hand, a driver who flees the scene of an accident may also face a civil lawsuit for damages caused by their negligence. An injured party can receive compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The negligent driver may also have to pay punitive damages, which serve as a punishment and a deterrent against future negligence.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has launched a public awareness campaign called Stay at the Scene. The campaign educates drivers about their legal responsibilities following a crash, as well as the penalties they face if they leave the accident scene. The FHMSV hopes that public awareness will help reduce the more than 103,000 hit-and-run accidents that take place in the state every year.
Finding a hit-and-run driver can be a challenge and can make coping with an accident even more difficult. There are ways, however, to find a driver who has left the scene of the accident.
If you or a loved one are injured in a hit-and-run crash, you should file a police report right away to help law enforcement locate the driver. After an accident, you may be injured and frightened. You may not feel like filing a police report, but it is one of the most important things you can do to help locate the driver.
When a hit-and-run crash occurs, the Fort Lauderdale police are more likely to investigate the accident. A crime has been committed, so the police have incentive to locate the hit-and-run driver.
One method that police use is old-fashioned knocking on doors near the accident scene. They typically ask people if they saw anything unusual or know the whereabouts of the driver. They may ask if they recognize the vehicle or if they can identify the driver from security footage.
These days, police have access to video recordings from a variety of sources. Highway cameras, business surveillance cameras, and even home security cameras may have footage of a hit-and-run accident. This footage may help law enforcement identify and locate the hit-and-run driver.
A hit-and-run accident can be infuriating to watch. A witness may be outraged when they see the driver ignore their responsibility and leave the scene of an accident. Witnesses often want to do anything they can to help police bring the fleeing driver to justice. An angry witness may write the license plate number and description of the vehicle to help identify and track down the driver.
Once the police have the license plate number, it’s easier for them to find the hit-and-run driver. The Broward County Department of Motor Vehicles can find the driver’s name and address by checking the vehicle information on file.
Law enforcement has technology on its side when investigating a hit-and-run crash. People who have important information may see news of the accident on social media or TV. When they learn the seriousness of the accident, some people may come forward with information that can help police catch the fleeing driver.
Fort Lauderdale has something for everyone, from beaches and canals to dining and historical sites. With various outdoor activities, this attractive city illustrates why Florida is known as the Sunshine State.
If you enjoy spending time on the waterfront, you’ll want to visit The Wharf Fort Lauderdale. Located on the beautiful New River, The Wharf offers food, cocktails, and nautically themed events. You can even dock your boat there.
Thanks to The Wharf’s rotating pop-up eateries, you can enjoy offerings from the area’s top chefs. Next to The Wharf is Rivertail, from James Beard Award-nominated chef Jose Mendin.
For history buffs, there’s the Historic Stranahan House Museum. The oldest surviving structure in Broward County, the wood-framed home was built in 1901 by Frank Stranahan, the city’s found father. Ivy Stranahan, his wife, also happened to be Fort Lauderdale’s first schoolteacher.
The Stranahan House was restored by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and the Fort Lauderdale Board of Realtors. In 1984 it was opened to the public as a historic house museum.
To help you travel to the many attractions on the Intracoastal Waterway, Fort Lauderdale has created its signature Water Taxi. Use an advance-purchase pass to board any of the yellow and green boats.
You can stay on the boat and simply cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway. Choose from a selection of beverages and listen as the crew tells you about points of interest along the way.
Or you can get off the Water Taxi at any stop and enjoy the eateries and entertainment. There are plenty of restaurants and other establishments to choose from, and you can even save money. When you disembark, you can use your Water Taxi pass to obtain discounts at more than 60 Cruise and Save partners.
With all of these opportunities for entertainment, it’s unfortunate that accidents can happen. Busy streets and multiple distractions can lead to car collisions and even hit-and-run crashes. Fortunately, you can get help from a hit and run attorney in Fort Lauderdale.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you need the help of a hit and run accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale. The lawyers at Schilling & Silvers Property and Accident Attorneys have the skills and expertise necessary for dealing with insurance companies. We strive to build trust with our clients through unsurpassed communication and dedication.
After a hit-and-run accident, you don’t have to face the insurance companies on your own. Schilling & Silvers Property and Accident Attorneys has a team of experienced personal injury and insurance attorneys who can fight for your best interests. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run crash, contact us today for a free consultation.
In addition to Fort Lauderdale, the experienced legal team at our injury law firm also serves Pompano Beach, Miami, Weston, Plantation, Hialeah, Sunrise, Davie, Fort Myers, and more.
We hired Schilling & Silvers Property and Accident Attorneys after being unable to reach an acceptable settlement with an insurance company. Aaron handled everything professionally, kept us informed regularly, and quickly negotiated the settlement we were looking for. I would highly recommend Schilling & Silvers Property and Accident Attorneys for your legal needs!
I hired Schilling & Silvers Property and Accident Attorneys to help with my Insurance claim. Mr.Silvers was able to get my case settled fairly quickly. He was very professional.i would recommend him in the future to anyone needing assistance with claims. Thank you so much.
Just want to say that Aaron, Jed, Jeremy, and their staff were professional, helpful, and most importantly effective in their handling of our case. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend their firm for anyone who is looking to an expedient and fair resolution to their property insurance dispute.
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