Imagine this: you are taking a quick trip from your home to the store to buy milk. You stop at a red light when you are rear-ended by an inattentive driver. Your car is seriously damaged, and you’re pretty sure you’ve suffered some injuries that need medical attention. However, instead of staying at the scene of the crash to at least exchange contact information, the other driver hits the gas pedal and speeds away. Hit-and-run accidents like these, according to recent statistics, may be on the downswing, but it is still a serious issue that deserves our attention.
According to statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, statewide in 2017 there were 98,225 hit-and-run crashes. This is down from the 101,574 hit-and-run collisions in Florida in 2016, but up from the 85,161 hit-and-run accidents the state saw in 2014. In those accidents in 2017 statewide 1,184 people suffered serious bodily injuries, and 177 people lost their lives. Specifically, in St. Johns County in 2017, there were 777 hit-and-run accidents. Of those, six people suffered serious bodily injuries, and four people lost their lives.
When a motorist causes a crash that injures or kills another person, and then leaves the scene of the accident, the victims involved may be devastated. They may be afraid that without any contact information from the at-fault driver, their options for recovery are little to none. However, this need not be the case. Through witness accounts and other evidence uncovered in an investigation, it may be possible to track down the hit-and-run driver. Sometimes hit-and-run accident victims can seek compensation from their own insurance policies via an uninsured motorist claim.
In the end, victims of hit-and-run accidents should keep their legal options in mind. With the right help, it is possible to seek compensation for one’s losses and hold the hit-and-run driver accountable. In this way, people can cope with the financial and emotional challenges that come from being the victim of a hit-and-run crash.