3 FAQs About Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident Claims
In the state of Florida, leaving the scene of an accident that caused bodily injury is a third-degree felony. Potential penalties include a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years. Despite these consequences, hit and run accidents happen every single day. Although many of them are minor fender benders, some end up causing serious bodily injury and even death.
Pedestrians are especially vulnerable in hit and run collisions. If the driver flees the scene without calling for emergency medical care, the pedestrian might die even though his or her injuries were treatable.
If you were struck by a motorist who left the scene, you may be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages. Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about hit and run pedestrian accident claims:
1. How Can I Find the Motorist Who Fled the Scene?
If you were seriously injured by a negligent driver, you have the right to bring a personal injury claim against him or her rather than relying solely on your personal injury protection and other first-party insurance. Of course, you won’t be able to bring such a claim unless the at-fault motorist is identified. Fortunately, there are several strategies that the police and your legal team may employ to find the liable motorist. Examples include:
- Talking to eyewitnesses;
- Looking at dash cam and surveillance footage; and
- Speaking with local mechanics who may have serviced the vehicle.
2. What Kinds of Damages Can I Pursue Following a Pedestrian Accident?
If the at-fault driver is identified, you may be able to file a claim with his or her insurer for the economic and non-economic damages you incurred as a result of the accident. Such damages might include:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Lost benefits;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Home care;
- Necessary home and vehicle modifications to accommodate any disabilities;
- Domestic help;
- Child care;
- Loss of enjoyment in life;
- Emotional distress; and
- Pain and suffering.
Hit and run accidents are also one of the few personal injury scenarios in which a punitive award may be warranted. In the state of Florida, punitive damages are usually capped at $500,000 or three times the total compensatory damages, with a few exceptions.
3. Can I Still Seek Compensation If I Can’t Find the Motorist Who Fled the Scene?
If you’re unable to find the hit and run driver, there may be other avenues of compensation you can pursue. For example, it may be possible to file a claim against your own personal injury protection policy. Whether you’re covered for injuries sustained as a pedestrian will depend on the terms of your policy.
You may also have grounds for a claim against the municipality responsible for maintaining the roads. If there was a lack of adequate signage, for example, the at-fault government entity may be liable for your damages.
Call 772-266-5555 for a Free Consultation with a Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love was hurt in a hit and run pedestrian accident, contact Donaldson & Weston. We’ve represented hundreds of clients and have won numerous six- and seven-figure settlements and verdicts. Call 772-266-5555 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Florida.