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How to Handle a Hit-and-Run Car Accident

In 2023, Florida experienced 104,273 hit-and-run crashes, resulting in 271 fatalities and 871 serious injuries. A significant portion of these fatalities involved vulnerable road users like pedestrians and bicyclists. The Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act increases the punishment for drivers who leave the scene after hitting someone. The act is named after a cyclist who was killed in 2012.

Enacted in 2014, this law aims to toughen penalties for hit-and-run accidents causing serious injuries or death. If you are involved in a deadly hit-and-run accident, you may face at least four years in prison. This punishment is comparable to the penalties for DUI manslaughter.

What you should do if you're the victim of a hit-and-run incident:

Being in a hit-and-run accident is even more stressful and confusing than a regular car accident. Suddenly, you face not only the aftermath of the accident but also the uncertainty of the responsible party. If you're in a hit-and-run, it's important to know what steps to take to protect yourself.

Stay Calm and Check for Injuries

After a hit-and-run accident, it's essential to stay calm and assess the situation. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Call emergency services immediately for medical assistance if anyone is hurt. Staying calm will help you think clearly and make informed decisions in the aftermath of the accident.

Gather Information

If you can, try to gather as much information as possible about the vehicle that hit you. Take note of the car's color, make, model, and any part of the license plate number you can remember. If there are witnesses, get their contact info and details about the fleeing vehicle. The more information you have, the better the chances of the police finding the hit-and-run driver.

Call the Police

Contacting the police immediately is crucial. When they arrive, provide them with all the details of the incident. The police report will be an important document when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action. It's also essential for the investigation to find the driver responsible for the hit-and-run.

Document the Scene

Use your smartphone or camera to take pictures of your vehicle's damage, any visible injuries, and the surrounding area. Documenting the scene can provide valuable evidence for your insurance claim and any potential legal action. If you notice any security cameras nearby, make a note of them, as they may have captured the incident.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you feel okay after the accident, it's important to see a doctor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but could have long-term effects. Seeing a doctor gives you a record of your injuries, important for insurance and legal claims.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance company about the hit-and-run accident as soon as possible. They will guide you through the process of filing a claim. Depending on your coverage, you may be eligible for compensation under uninsured motorist coverage.

Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer

Consider consulting a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents for fair compensation. A skilled lawyer can guide you through the legal process, negotiate with insurers, and represent you in court. For more information and legal assistance with hit-and-run accidents, visit Hamblen Injury Law. Our Tampa law firm helps victims in Largo, Dunedin, and Clearwater, Florida get justice and compensation for personal injuries.


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