If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident, you’re very aware of all of the issues that can result from it: medical bills, increased car insurance rates, mechanical repairs, and potential lawsuits. But in a best-case scenario, if you get into an accident with a responsible motorist, you exchange information, file claims with either your or their insurance company, and try to make the best out of an unfortunate situation.
But what happens if you were involved in a hit and run accident?
What to do After a Hit and Run Car Accident
If you caused the accident:
The first thing you need to know about hit and run accidents in Florida is that leaving the scene of an accident is a crime.
If it’s a minor accident that only caused property damage, it’s considered a misdemeanor in the second degree. This means that it’s punishable by jail time of up to 60 days. In addition, the driver is exposed to penalties as well as having their driver’s license suspended.
Is a hit and run a felony?
If the accident caused injury, it would be considered a third-degree felony, which is punishable up to $5,000 in fines and five years in prison.
If the accident results in death, it’s a first-degree felony, which is punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 30 years in prison.
If you were the victim:
Depending on the amount of damages, you may have a recourse by filing a claim with your own insurance company. This is because Florida is a no-fault jurisdiction and requires all car insurance policies to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This type of protection covers up to 80% of medical bills and up to 60% of lost wages, up to a total of $10,000. Do keep in mind that you have to file your claim within 14 days of the accident for coverage to apply.
While PIP is mandatory, car insurance companies also offer optional additional coverage called MedPay (short for Medical Payment) that covers the remaining 20% of medical bills not covered by PIP.
What if the Hit and Run Happened While the Other Car was Parked?
If you hit a parked car and the owner of the other vehicle is not available, you still have a legal duty to provide your information. This includes your name, address, and vehicle registration number. Leave a note or report the accident to the police.
If You’ve Been in Involved in a Car Accident in Tampa Bay Call Clark Law for a Free Consultation
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.