Hit and Run Lawyer in Pembroke Pines
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were more than 105,000 hit and run crashes in 2019 alone, a staggering 25% of all car crashes in Florida  . While a majority of hit and run accidents only result in property damage, the consequences of leaving the scene of an accident that results in injury to others can be costly or even deadly.
Florida defines a hit and run incident as the failure of the driver to remain at the scene of a vehicle accident and fulfill other statutory duties when the crash involves property damage, bodily injury, or death. People affected by a hit and run accident can include other vehicle drivers or passengers, pedestrians, cyclists or other bystanders.
If you were the victim of a hit and run accident in Pembroke Pines, it is vital to take the proper steps to ensure you will be justly compensated for your damaged property and/or any injuries sustained. Florida law expects you to report a car accident immediately. If you do not contact law enforcement at the scene of the accident, you only have 10 days after an accident to file a police report .
After contacting law enforcement and receiving required medical attention, it is important to contact a trusted hit and run lawyer. As a top hit and run victim attorney in Pembroke Pines, the team at Schlacter Law understands the stress and complications that occur after an accident. When careless or reckless drivers flee the scene of an accident, they leave both physical and emotional wreckage in their wake. Schlacter fights back against these selfless drivers to get victims compensation for damages and injuries sustained.
5 Common Causes of Car Accidents
In Pembroke Pines, car accidents can be caused by a variety of conditions including:
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Bad weather
Most people will be involved in some sort of vehicle accident in their lifetime. In fact, there are over 350,000 traffic crashes in Florida each year . Knowing the top causes of car accidents can help you and your loved ones take the proper precautions to stay safe on the road and behind the wheel.
Why Do Drivers Leave the Scene of a Car Accident?
While hit and run crashes are fundamentally the same as any type of vehicle accident, certain types of conditions may further compel a driver to leave the scene of an accident.
Drunk Driver–Many hit and run drivers under the influence of alcohol or other drugs flee the scene of a crash in an attempt to avoid a DUI conviction. In many instances, an impaired driver will wait until they think the alcohol or drugs have passed through his/her system and then turn themselves in. However, witnesses, security footage, or physical evidence left at the scene will almost always bring the driver to justice.
Uninsured or Illegal Driver–According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida was ranked #1 among states for the most uninsured drivers at an estimated 26.7% in 2015 . Pembroke Pines drivers that do not carry the state-mandated automobile insurance, or drivers who are not United States citizens, face additional penalties and criminal charges, in addition to hit and run charges.
Outstanding Warrants or Other Convictions–Drivers with prior run-ins with the law or outstanding warrants often try to avoid law enforcement at all costs. In the event of a hit and run, a person with a record or even prior moving violations may flee to try to avoid additional points against their license. Points placed on a Florida driver’s license due to traffic violations stay on your record for three years and may be counted against you for insurance purposes .
Panicked Driver–Car accidents are a frightening experience for all involved. Adrenaline, alarm, confusion, and uncertainty can cause even the most responsible of Pembroke Pines drivers to act with abandonment and flee the scene of an accident. A decision made at the scene of an accident can have drastic consequences for the driver of the vehicle and any victims involved.
No matter the reason a driver leaves the scene of a crash, the consequences will certainly be more severe than if the driver remained at the scene of the accident.
Common Accident Injuries
Whether you are the occupant of an impacted vehicle or a roadside bystander, vehicle-related injuries can be varied and severe. What’s more, given the delay in or the complete absence of medical attention, the aftermath of a hit and run injury can be much more serious. Common car accident injuries include:
- Head injuries ranging from moderate concussions to traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and chest injuries such as whiplash, broken ribs, and collapsed lungs
- Back injuries involving herniated disc or damage to the spinal cord that could result in temporary or permanent paralysis
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Scrapes and cuts due to sharp pieces of machinery or glass
While Florida courts hold hit and run drivers to the letter of the law, victims are often left with thousands of dollars worth of after-incident costs. As a premier hit and run lawyer in the Pembroke Pines area, Schlacter Law understands that the law is often limited in holding reckless drivers accountable for your physical and emotional trauma. Doctors’ bills, the cost of rehabilitation, loss of income, and damage to property are just some of the costs you can incur after a hit and run, and our team of lawyers have a proven track record of winning maximum compensation for pain and suffering.
The Florida No-Fault Motor Vehicle Law requires drivers to carry a minimum $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage plan as part of their vehicle’s auto insurance. This policy pays the insured’s medical bills and/or lost wages, regardless of who caused the accident, up to the minimum limit of the policy. Optional Uninsured/Uninsured Motorist coverage are add-on provisions to a policy that pay when the driver who hits you does not have car insurance or lacks enough coverage to pay all of your damages .
Certain exceptions to Florida’s “No-Fault” law permit a motorist to directly sue another motorist who caused the accident .
As a “No-Fault” state, Florida makes it difficult for victims of hit and run accidents to obtain just compensation for their injuries. A hit and run attorney has the expertise to navigate these complex laws and find other avenues for compensation such as pursuing a personal injury negligence lawsuit.
What Does a Pembroke Pines Hit and Run Lawyer Do?
An experience Pembroke Pines hit and run attorney can take care of the many details involved in an insurance claim or lawsuit, including:
- Gathering and compiling your medical bills, receipts, and other proof of loss including loss of wages
- Obtaining diagnosis and prognosis reports from your healthcare provider about your injuries
- Filing and tracking the insurance claim
- Negotiating for a fair settlement
- Bringing a negligence suit to court
It is also important to note that you have a limited time to seek legal action after a hit and run accident. Under Florida law 95.11, there are strict deadlines to file lawsuits in cases of bodily injury or property damage . Contacting a hit and run attorney as soon as possible following an accident is essential to building a strong case for compensation.
If you were involved in a hit and run accident, a consultation with Schlacter Law can be the first step in receiving compensation.
- https://www.flhsmv.gov/2020/02/03/stay-at-the-scene-you-could-save-a-life/ ↩
- https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/hitrun/ ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.066.html ↩
- https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/ ↩
- https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists ↩
- https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licenses-id-cards/driver-license-suspensions-revocations/points-point-suspensions/ ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.736.html ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.737.html ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=316.061&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.061.html ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=316.027&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.027.html ↩
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
What are the Penalties for a Hit and Run Accident?
Florida Law imposes strict penalties for leaving the scene of a crash. Depending on the type of damage incurred, reckless drivers can be charged with varying degrees of prison time and fines.
- Property Damage – drivers can be charged with a second degree misdemeanor, up to 60 days in prison, and a $500 fine.
- Injuries – if injuries were caused as a result of a hit and run, the responsible party can be tried with a second or third degree felony, revoked license for at least 3 years, up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- Fatalities – if the accident results in a fatality, the driver convicted may face first degree felony charge, revoked license for at least 3 years, mandatory minimum of 4 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine.  
Can I File for Compensation On My Own?
Due to the complicated nature of Florida’s hit and run laws, it is not advisable to negotiate with an insurance company on your own. Furthermore, many insurance companies have deadlines to notify them about any crash, even if you are unsure if you will need to file a claim. This deadline could be as soon as a few days after the incident. Contacting a Pembroke Pines hit and run attorney as soon as possible will ensure you have the expertise necessary to help navigate your case.
What are Some Common Insurance Issues?
The most common issues in a hit and run case pertain to uninsured and underinsured motorists. An individual’s insurance policy limit–is the maximum amount that an insurance company will be required to pay, regardless of the severity of the injuries suffered by the victim. These limits are designed to protect the insurance companies but can be insufficient to deal with the traumas after a hit and run.
Underinsured or uninsured motorists also pose a problem in seeking compensation for injuries. While you may have the option to file in court against the driver for negligence, people without insurance usually don’t have much in the way of assets, and a lawsuit may be a fruitless effort.
How Much Does a Hit and Run Lawyer Cost?
Many attorneys, including the trusted Pembroke Pines team at Schlacter Law, offer a FREE consultation to evaluate your claim. It is important to strategize the optimal course of action for your specific case to gauge the best chances for success. If your case is accepted, the hit and run team will aggressively pursue your case including all aspects of discovery and dealing with the insurance company. Unless we recover money for your case you pay nothing.
How Much Reimbursement Can I Get?
Financial reimbursement can vary widely and is largely dependent on the extent and severity of your property damage and/or injuries, as well as the insurance companies. An experienced Pembroke Pines hit and run attorney can provide an estimate on your case value.