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3 FAQs About Hit and Run Wrongful Death Claims

September 17, 2019

by ogkdev

personal injury attorney

In the state of Florida, motorists who are involved in car accidents must remain at the scene and provide their name, address, driver’s license number, and registration information to the other parties involved. If a wreck causes bodily injury, drivers must also provide reasonable assistance to the victims by alerting first responders.

Failing to perform these tasks following a collision may lead to criminal charges. Unfortunately, many drivers choose to flee the scene regardless of the potential consequences—often because they are uninsured, intoxicated, or violating another law at the time of the accident.

If your loved one has died in a hit and run, it is natural to feel hopeless, especially if the at-fault driver has not yet been found. In addition to the trauma of losing a family member, you may be worried that the associated costs will lead to financial turmoil and possible bankruptcy. Under many circumstances, however, hit and run drivers are eventually identified, and survivors may have the right to pursue compensation by bringing a wrongful death claim.

During the initial consultation, your personal injury attorney can answer any questions you have about the proceedings. Below we’ve provided the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about these cases:

1. How Can I Find the Driver Who Killed My Loved One?

Law enforcement personnel and resourceful accident attorneys can employ many strategies to search for hit and run drivers. For example, they might review dash cam footage, surveillance recordings, and eyewitness statements about the accident. They may also evaluate transactions from local auto body shops over the days and weeks following the wreck.

If neither the police nor your legal team can find the motorist, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to seek compensation for the damages. Since Florida is a no-fault state, it may be possible to recover at least some funds from the victim’s own PIP insurance provider. And if other parties were partially liable for the accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from them, as well.

2. Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

Under Florida law, a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. This individual should be named in the victim’s will. If there is no will, the court will appoint a representative. The representative files the lawsuit on behalf of all applicable beneficiaries, which might include the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, parents, and relatives who depended on him or her for support or services.

3. How Long Does My Family Have to File the Lawsuit?

In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is usually two years. If you intend to bring the claim against a government entity, a written notice of claim must be submitted and a 180-day investigation period must pass before the lawsuit is filed.

Speak with a Florida Wrongful Death Personal Injury Attorney Today

If your loved one was killed in a hit and run accident, contact Donaldson & Weston. Call our personal injury attorney today at 772-266-5555 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a wrongful death lawyer in Florida.