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Being involved in a hit and run car accident is often described as a scary and frustrating experience. Having to expend time and energy on attempting to locate and identify the fleeing driver, while also seeking medical treatment for your injuries is never fun or easy. However, there are certain steps that you can take after being involved in a hit and run accident to protect yourself and any potential claim you may have.
A hit and run accident is any accident where a driver intentionally leaves the scene of the accident without providing his or her contact information.
Unfortunately, hit and run crashes are more common than you would expect. In 2013 there were 78,661 hit and run crashes in the state of Florida. That number jumped to 85,241 in 2014, rose to 94,456 in 2015, and then to 99,004 in 2016. In 2016, nearly 25% of all accidents in the state of Florida involved a hit and run crash. This is especially concerning for drivers in the State of Florida who are injured by hit and run drivers.
If you are able to identify the hit and run driver, you are certainly able to make a claim with his or her insurance company. However, even if you are unable to identify the hit and run driver, there may be insurance coverage available. If you carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (commonly referred to as UM coverage), you may have coverage for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and bodily injury from them hit and run accident.
If you are struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian and the driver of the vehicle flees, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM Coverage) may offer coverage for damages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and bodily injury. In the event that the accident is fatal, the survivors of the victim may also be able to make a claim against the UM coverage policy. While UM coverage is not required in Florida, it is a good idea to carry UM coverage given the high rate of hit and run accidents within the State of Florida.