Hit and Run Accident Lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL

Hit and run accidents are a serious problem across the nation. In fact, these crashes occur with such frequency that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has even mounted an ad campaign (“Hit and Run – Bad to Worse”) to combat the problem. While such measures might be effective in preventing some future hit and run accidents, people who have already been injured or lost a loved one due to the negligence of a driver who fled the scene of an accident should speak to a car crash attorney about their legal remedies as soon as possible. The West Palm Beach hit and run accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston have represented many victims of reckless drivers and can advise you concerning your case.

Crashes in which the responsible party leaves the scene are increasing in number each year, with nearly 100,000 hit and run crashes being reported just last year in Florida alone. While many such accidents involve only property damage, about one in five resulted in an injury or death. Pedestrians may be especially vulnerable. Although leaving the scene of an accident is a felony offense in Florida and may result in the offender’s driver’s license being revoked for three years or longer, many of the people involved in hit and run collisions are never caught.

Taking Legal Action After a Hit and Run Accident

In cases in which a hit and run motorist is identified and prosecuted in criminal court, an accident victim has the option of filing a negligence lawsuit in the civil court system. If the defendant had a legal duty to the plaintiff, breached that duty, and caused harm to the plaintiff, the defendant may be held liable for the plaintiff’s damages with the assistance of a hit and run accident lawyer in West Palm Beach. These damages may include the plaintiff’s reasonable and necessary medical expenses, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity, and loss of consortium between the victim and their spouse.

Unfortunately, a negligence lawsuit brought directly against a hit and run driver is not a possibility if the individual is never identified. In such a situation, the plaintiff may be able to pursue compensation through a claim asserted against their own uninsured or underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist insurance company. The simple fact that a hit and run accident occurred, however, does not automatically trigger a responsibility for the insurance company to pay out a certain amount of money. Instead, a UM/UIM claim is often adversarial in nature, with the insurance company standing in the would-be defendant’s shoes and asserting any defenses that they would have been able to assert, such as allegations of comparative fault.