A hit and run accident is defined as when the person that caused the crash flees the scene. Often a hit and run situation is caused by a person drinking and driving who is afraid of the ramifications of their actions. These individuals then end up fleeing the scene. Sometimes, it is an underage driver or merely somebody that does not want to take responsibility for their actions. They may think that they can get away with the crime by leaving the scene of the crash.
If you have been injured due to another’s negligence in a hit and run, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced West Palm Beach hit and run lawyer immediately. A knowledgeable car accident attorney in West Palm Beach can build a case to help maximize any potential compensation you may be owed.
Common Fact Patterns
Some common fact patterns surrounding a hit and run accident in West Palm Beach would be an underage driver or somebody driving legally, or possible somebody who is young and does not want to be accountable for their actions or is embarrassed by their actions. No matter the reasoning, damages can be pursued using a West Palm Beach hit and run accident lawyer.
Another hit and run accident issue would be what type of insurance coverage there is, because if the at-fault party cannot be identified, and they cannot locate any insurance on behalf of that person, the only insurance the injured person would be able to pursue would be their own coverage if they had the right type of coverage. Many drivers in Florida do not have this type of coverage because it is not required by law.
Uniqueness of a Hit and Run
From the standpoint of insurance, they will first determine who is at fault for the accident. In a regular car accident, the crash is investigated by a police officer who will speak with both parties involved and come to a determination of who caused the crash. However, if somebody leaves the scene, the police officer does not have the benefit of speaking with everybody involved. Hopefully, there are witnesses that can help.
If the other driver does not have insurance or if they cannot be located, the injured person may be limited in the recovery that they can receive, depending on whether or not they have the appropriate insurance coverage.
In a hit and run case, like any other case, the types of damages that an injured party would be entitled to recover are economic damages which are past and future lost wages, past and future medical expenses, and out-of-pocket expenses. Anything that is tangible and can be put down on paper as a monetary loss can be recovered. Usually, the economic damages can be mapped out over time.
If the injured victim was making $50,000 a year for the last five years and is no longer able to work, they may expect $50,000 per year for the remainder of their work life expectancy or until the age of retirement. This is what the person would have made had this crash not occurred.
The same principles apply with medical bills and expenses. A person will be entitled to any medical expenses incurred up until the date of the settlement or verdict.
Benefit of an Attorney
Experienced West Palm Beach hit and run accident lawyers can handle a hit and run accident or any accident for that matter. They will have access to investigators and will try to locate the person that caused the crash. They can speak with witnesses listed on the police report, try to find out whether somebody took down a license plate or tag number, and run a vehicle search in an attempt to find the other driver.
If that person is found and the vehicle is there, then the police can be called and that person will have to accompany the police to the scene of the accident. If it is a hit and run accident, there may be a criminal investigation if that person is found.
There have been occasions when a law firm will place an ad in the local newspaper asking for information or witnesses to a crash which occurred on a certain date at a certain location. These ads will describe the vehicle they are looking for, and possible identification of the driver. Anyone who has information is asked to contact the police or the investigator at the law firm.
Having a hit and run accident attorney from West Palm Beach involved with all their resources to track down somebody who left the scene of an accident could make or break a claim.