What Do I Do If I Am Involved in a Hit-and-Run?Posted 02 Sep 2014 by Law Office of John M. Phillips
Hit-and-runs, a growing problem:
Florida law requires that everyone who is involved in an automobile crash remain at the scene, exchange information and provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured or in need of help. Unfortunately, despite these laws, and despite our moral responsibility, hit-and-runs continue to happen. Those who fail to obey the Florida guidelines are committing a crime punishable by fines and the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. Individuals who chose to leave the scene of an accident, in our opinion, are cowards.
In 2012 nearly 70,000 “hit-and-run” accidents occurred in Florida. 168 of those accidents resulted in fatalities. Additionally, three out of five road fatalities in Florida were pedestrians who were struck and killed by hit-and-run drivers. Hit-and-run’s are a growing concern in our city. Jacksonville has been named one of the most dangerous cities in the country, for pedestrians.
What to do after a hit-and-run?
The moment any accident occurs is unnerving. A car accident can leave witnesses and those involved in the accident shaken or in shock. Your reaction is important regardless if you are the victim or a witness. Your first response as a witness or as a victim should be to contact law enforcement immediately.
It is critical that details of the scene are recorded. Reocrding the color, make, model, year of the car, weather, time of day, and of course, the license plate numbers if possible. Gathering information from other witnesses, and if possible, injured parties, can also be very helpful. Your ability to respond by recording information can make an enormous difference in helping the victim of a hit-and-run. There may also be businesses in the area that have surveillance cameras that could have captured the scene or even the fleeing driver of the vehicle.
What do I do if I am the victim of a hit-and-run?
Victims of hit-and-run accidents often find themselves in overwhelming and stressful situations with mounting medical bills, possible lost wages, and other potential damages. While you are trying to recover from the accident, police are investigating the case, and critical evidence is disappearing quickly. As civil lawyers, we often work immediately with a private investigator to conduct our own investigation in hopes of bringing the at-fault driver to justice. In other words, we add a layer of investigation in addition to what the police department is already doing.
When the hit-and-run driver is caught, we will act as an advocate for you throughout the criminal case, while fighting to get our clients the recovery they need and deserve. Taking a prompt and proactive approach to these cases is critical and can be the deciding factor that makes justice certain. If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, a civil lawyer can evaluate the case and let you know how they can help.
Consultations are often free and most lawyers take these cases on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay the lawyer if he or she recovers something. Private investigators, consultants, researchers and experts are all hired at our expense, as needed… There is only one way to spell “justice,” but many different ways to define it. The civil justice system just adds one more definition to the list and can often lead to answers and monetary recoveries.
We invite you to review our verdicts, our accolades and awards, what clients have to say about us and to give us a call for a free consultation. Our lawyers will sit down with you personally. John represents clients in Florida, Georgia and Alabama with passion and compassion and is a Board Certified Expert in Civil Trial Law according to the Florida Bar.
If injury or trouble finds you, call us at 904-444-4444 .