Pedestrians and vehicle occupants are injured by hit and run and by uninsured drivers on a daily basis in Florida. Although a driver who flees the scene of a car accident and uninsured in Florida might be liable for causing a crash and/or failing to stay and render assistance, legal claims for injuries caused by such drivers raise unique issues and special challenges. Although a law enforcement investigation might result in tracking down a driver who flees the scene of an accident, many hit and run cases go unsolved every year. Further, uninsured drivers might be “judgment proof,” so they have no viable means to satisfy a judgment or settlement.
When the at-fault driver cannot be located, the task of identifying a defendant with insurance or viable resources to pay a personal injury settlement or judgment can be difficult. The legal theories that may be applicable to assign liability to a particular individual or entity will depend on the facts and circumstances of the crash. States differ in terms of the specific legal theories recognized in the jurisdiction. Therefore, car crash injury victims should promptly seek legal advice from an experienced Florida Personal Injury Lawyer who can analyze the situation and conduct research to determine the best way to pursue financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other forms of loss.
The Risk of a Crash Caused by an Uninsured or Hit and Run Driver Greater Than You Think
Although many drivers presume that their odds of being in a collision with a hit and run or uninsured driver are extremely low, real world data tells a different story.
- Hit and runs rose to such epidemic proportions in Los Angeles during a recent year almost half of all crashes involved a driver who fled (USA Today)
- Fatal crashes involving drivers who left the scene recently rose 13.7% during the same three year period that fatal collisions declined by 4.5 percent overall (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- 1 in 5 pedestrian accidents involve hit and run drivers (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)
- Approximately 29.7 drivers in the U.S. with no insurance
- 2 million uninsured drivers in Florida
Another important factor that increases the risk that motorists or pedestrians will be involved in a collision with a hit and run driver is that poor drivers are more likely to flee the scene. While any driver might panic and leave the scene of a crash to avoid criminal charges and civil liability, drivers have a greater motivation to flee from the scene of a crash if any of the following apply:
- Record of prior accidents especially those resulting in injuries or deaths
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (currently and/or on prior occasions)
- Operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked driver’s license
- Fleeing because he or she is at-fault
- Lack of insurance
Uninsured drivers also tend to be among the worst drivers because their reason for driving without a license often involves a suspension or revocation based on prior accidents, tickets, or DUIs. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident or a crash caused by an uninsured driver, we invite you to read Part II of this blog to learn more about you legal rights and options.
Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, P.A.: Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence
If you have been injured in a crash with an uninsured or hit and run motorist, our Miami UM Claims Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, P.A. will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve. For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida. We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.