Under Florida Statute § 316.061, any driver involved in a car accident is required to stay at the scene. When a driver fails to do so, it is considered a hit and run––which is a crime in the state of Florida. A hit-and-run driver not only breaks the law but complicates the financial recovery process for the victim. Without the liable driver’s identifying information, it can be challenging to track down their insurance company and file a claim.
The West Palm Beach hit and run accident lawyers at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can help you recover compensation for your injuries, even if the other driver left the scene without providing their contact information. We can pursue several options when it comes to filing a claim, all of which are designed to track down and identify the driver responsible for your losses.
We want to get started working for you today. We offer free consultation and operate on a contingency-fee basis. To speak with a member of our team in West Palm Beach, call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers at (561) 899-5020.
Hit and Run Laws in West Palm Beach, Florida
Being involved in a car accident and then fleeing the scene of the crash is a crime. A driver who is involved in an accident (whether at fault or not) and does not remain at the scene risks losing their license, being fined, or even going to jail. The criminal charges they could face, as well as the associated penalties, vary based on whether there was property damage, injuries, or fatalities.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that if a driver fled an accident scene that resulted in one’s injuries, if convicted, they can face:
- A second or third-degree felony
- License suspension for up to three years
- Up to five years in prison
- A fine of up to $5,000
If a negligent driver struck another party and killed them, the penalties increase in severity.
- A first-degree felony
- License revocation for at least three years
- Anywhere from four to 30 years in prison
- A $10,000 fine
It is important to understand that even if the driver who hit you and took off escapes criminal charges or does not get convicted, they could still be financially liable for your injuries and property damage. A West Palm Beach hit and run accident lawyer can still hold them accountable in civil court and pursue the cost of your damages.
To learn more about how we go about litigating hit-and-run accidents in West Palm Beach, call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today for a free case evaluation at (561) 899-5020.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Florida
If you get into a car accident and the other driver leaves the scene, there are several measures you can take on your behalf to improve your chances of financial recovery.
Seeking Medical Attention
When you leave the scene, your first stop should be at your doctor’s office or a medical clinic. It is important to get a medical exam as soon as possible after a car accident. Your doctor can make sure you do not have any unidentified injuries and prescribe treatment to safeguard your health and wellbeing.
Completing Your Doctor’s Recommended Course of Treatment
Let’s say that you broke your leg as a result of the collision. Your doctor may have recommended that you complete six months of physical therapy to help you regain motion of the affected limb. If for whatever reason, you stopped attending physical therapy before the end of the recommended period, this could work against you.
If the other party responsible for your injuries learns that you did not complete your doctor’s course of recommended treatment, they could argue that your own negligence made your injuries worse. You do not want to provide the other party with any ammunition to deny liability for your losses.
Keeping All Relevant Documents
While you are undergoing treatment for your injuries, you should keep all documents pertaining to your medical care and treatment.
This could come in the form of:
- Medical bills
- Imaging scans
- Lab test results
- Written testimony from your doctor regarding your diagnosis and prognosis
- Prescription medications
- Dates of future medical appointments or procedures
Not only will this help your West Palm Beach hit and run lawyer calculate the cost of your losses, but it will help them establish that you were injured because of another party’s negligence.
Potential Hit-and-Run Accident Compensation in West Palm Beach
A West Palm Beach hit-and-run accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for your injuries, whether it is from the other driver, an insurance company, or another source.
If your case is successful, you may be able to recover compensation for the following economic and noneconomic damages:
- Medical bills, both present and projected
- Missed time from work
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Psychological trauma
Depending on the details of the collision, you may be able to pursue compensation for damages we have not included here.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations
Under Florida Statute § 95.11, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to pursue a civil action for your collision-related expenses. At Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, we recommend taking legal action as soon as possible, regardless of whether you know the identity of the other driver or not. Your lawyer can help you determine how to proceed and take action on your behalf.
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Today for More Information
The West Palm Beach hit and run accident lawyers at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers are eager to hear from you and evaluate your case. We will fight for the fair compensation your case merits. To speak with a member of our team in West Palm Beach, call (561) 899-5020.