Hit and Run Lawyer in Hialeah
With our roads becoming more and more congested, automobile accidents are increasing every day. While certainly no one enjoys being in an automobile accident, it can feel far worse when the other party flees from the scene of the accident. If you were involved in a hit & run accident, a consultation with Schlacter Law can help assist with evaluating the next steps involved in receiving compensation.
Common Causes of Hit and Run Accidents in Hialeah
There are several reasons why another driver would flee from the scene of an accident. Some of the reasons might include:
- The driver panicked
- There was a warrant for a previous traffic violation
- The other driver failed to have adequate insurance
- The other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The drive had some other legal issue
Invariably, humans are prone to making bad decisions under stressful conditions. Even if a driver had no outstanding tickets or bad driving history, there’s no escaping the fact that the other driver could have panicked and run from the scene of the accident out of a basic fear for their own safety. While this might not excuse their behavior, it might explain while a perfectly good driver would otherwise leave the scene after a collision.
If a driver has previous charges from another serious moving violation, they would be very much aware of the consequences of their actions. Additionally, a driver may flee the scene of an accident to avoid a possible arrest or traffic violation, knowing that the police may be called to the scene after the accident.
Florida requires minimum automobile coverage for all motorists licensed and registered in the state. Failing to have the proper motorist coverage could result in fines or penalties. A hit and run driver may attempt to avoid these consequences by fleeing the scene of a collision.
Alcohol is a frequent factor in a hit and run accident. If the police are called to the scene of the accident, the other driver may be subject to a breathalyzer test for their blood alcohol content. Additionally, if a police officer suspects the driver was under the influence of another illegal substance, they may require the driver to undergo additional blood screenings. The other driver may flee the scene of the collision to wait out the effects of the alcohol or drugs in their blood.
If a driver has some other ongoing legal issue, they may flee the scene of an accident for fear that the police may arrest them for something unrelated to the collision; for example, if there was a warrant out for their arrest for failing to appear in court for some other legal issues, or if the driver was a citizen of another country and feared that they might be deported.
For all of the reasons listed above, an accident victim should contact a hit and run victim attorney in Hialeah who specializes in hit and run accidents in Hialeah to help determine what to do following a hit and run collision.
Common Insurance Issues
Following a hit and run accident, it may be necessary to file a claim with your own insurance carrier to compensate you for the damage that occurred during the collision. Under Florida Statute §627.736, drivers must have Personal Injury Insurance which covers “personal injury protection… to a limit of $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits [for] bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death [from the] use of a motor vehicle.”
Because Florida requires this minimum amount of car protection, it may be possible to have your own car insurance carrier compensate you for medical bills associated with the collision. There are limitations within the statute however, where coverage would only cover 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages. Fla. Stat. §627.736(a).
Additionally, if you elected to pay for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, this additional coverage may increase the compensation available through your insurance carrier. Underinsured motorist coverage provides protection when the other driver has no insurance or an inadequate amount of protection to cover the hit and run damage. If the other driver is never identified, uninsured motorist coverage would still allow you to seek compensation through your own insurance company for the amount purchased through your policy.
It is not uncommon for an insurance company to initially deny a claim for a hit and run accident. If that is the case, a hit and run accident lawyer in Hialeah may be able to help. A Schlacter Law hit and run lawyer has experience working with insurance companies to make sure the compensation they offer you in a settlement is suitable.
Can I Negotiate with the Insurance Company Myself?
It is possible to negotiate with your insurance company on your own in an attempt to get the largest amount of compensation possible. However, it is important to realize that a policy adjuster is looking out for the best interests of their insurance company – not for your best interests. However, generally negotiating a claim on your own is a very bad idea and you can get a lot more money utilizing the services of a competent attorney.
Following a hit and run in Hialeah, property damage and bodily injuries can cost thousands in repairs and medical bills. In order to receive the best settlement possible with an insurance company, it is always recommended that you consult a hit and run attorney. The hit and run lawyers at Schlacter law have the experience and know-how to help you get the most compensation available through an insurance company.
What if I was Partially at Fault?
Florida is a state that follows rules for comparative negligence. Comparative negligence reduces the amount of compensation available to a plaintiff by the percentage they contributed to the accident.
Because an insurance company’s liability is reduced if you were partially at fault for the accident, it is important to be mindful of any statements you make to an insurance company following a hit and run accident. The insurance company may take your statement and use it to show that you were partly to blame for the accident and therefore limit the amount of compensation they would payout.
Following a collision, a hit and run lawyer in Hialeah will help to ensure that an insurance company is doing its best to properly compensate you after the accident. If you feel an insurance company is attempting to limit the amount of compensation to reimburse for property damage or for your injuries, a Schlacter Law lawyer in Hialeah can help to make sure you get the largest amount of compensation available.
How much does a Personal Injury Hit and Run Lawyer cost?
A hit and run attorney in a personal injury lawsuit would typically receive compensation when a case is completed for a percentage of the amount the lawyer was able to recover. By arranging payment this way, the lawyer would pay all associated costs for the case and have that amount deducted from the total amount the lawyer receives after successfully completing the case. The client can then avoid having to pay any costs upfront.
A payment arrangement with a hit and run lawyer which pays on the completion of the case is called a contingency fee. In Florida, a contingency fee would range from 33.33% to 40% of the amount recovered through a lawsuit or an insurance settlement. When a case is settled before the hit & run attorney files a lawsuit, they would typically receive 33.33%. When a case fails to settle before a lawsuit, the hit and lawyer could receive an amount closer to 40%.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much reimbursement can you get?
Reimbursement will vary widely based on the circumstances of the hit and run accident and whether or not the insurance company is willing to settle with you or your lawyer, or if a lawsuit is necessary. Factors such as time, amount of past medical bills, amount of future medical bills, type of insurance, limits of liability coverages, photographs, lost wages and other damages are factors that go into the value calculation. As a rule of thumb, this calculation should not be made until you finalize your medical treatment and you reach a point of maximum medical improvement. Otherwise, you could be undervaluing your injuries and case value.
How is a claim filed for a hit and run?
Following a hit and run accident, you would need to contact your own insurance company and file a claim under your policy. Your PIP coverage and UM (Under/Uninsured Motorist Coverage) may cover your losses. However, speaking with a hit and run lawyer may help ensure that you get adequate compensation.
What if I was partially at fault?
Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that even if a victim is partially at fault, they may be entitled to compensation. The amount of compensation would be reduced by the percentage the victim was responsible for the accident.