Hit and Run Crashes in Florida Remain Steady
Recently, a hit and run in Palm Beach County resulting in the death of MMA fighter, Jordan Parsons made nationals news.
A hit and run accident is when a driver crashes into another vehicle, a pedestrian, or private property, then leaves without identifying himself, rendering aid, or both.
Unfortunately, hit and run crashes are frequent occurrences. Over the years, the number of hit and run crashes in Florida has remained steady. While the majority of hit and run crashes only result in property damage, sadly injuries and fatalities are common. In fact, in 2015, there were 186 hit and run fatalities, over half of which were pedestrians.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2015, there were more than 92,000 hit and run crashes reported in which:
- There were more than 19,000 injuries resulting from hit and run crashes,
- Over 1,200 of those involving serious bodily injury, and
- Pedestrians are particularly at risk.
Under Florida law, a driver involved in a crash which results in injury or death MUST stop immediately at the scene of a crash. Failure to do so may result in a felony, and having your license being revoked for at least three years and a mandatory minimum of four years in prison.
Whether on public or private property, the most important thing a driver involved in a crash should do is to remain at the scene and call for help – it may save a life.
While nothing can replace a loved one involved in a hit and run, it is important to ensure that the right coverage is in place to protect you and your family. Hit and run crashes often result in emergency services costs and high medical bills, legal and court costs, property damage, and workplace losses.
It is crucial for drivers as well as pedestrians to be aware of voluntarily coverages that will best protect them individually and their families such as Bodily Injury (BI) and Uninsured Motorist (UM).
The purpose of BI coverage is to protect a driver who causes a crash. This coverage is meant to protect an at fault driver from personal exposure up to the limits of the insurance policy.
If the driver is not found, you may look to your own insurer to get compensated for your injuries as Florida law requires that motorists obtain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. You also may have coverage under other insurance policies, such as UM/UIM or medical payments coverage.
UM/UIM is not mandatory in Florida. But it provides protection to you, resident relatives, and passengers in your vehicle if involved in a crash with someone who has no liability coverage or not enough insurance to cover your damages. UM/UIM means your own insurance carrier agrees to “stand in the shoes” of the person who caused the crash. This type of insurance coverage is vital for compensation for injuries and losses, especially in a hit and run crash.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a Hit and Run crash, please call our office at (561) 366-9099 to discuss your rights.