This is the second installment in our two part blog analyzing the challenges and special issues involved in personal injury claims involving hit and run accidents and uninsured drivers. While this blog series addresses specific issues involved in cases where there are challenges in identifying a viable defendant or source of funds to pay a settlement or judgment, we recognize you might have specific questions about your unique situation, so we invite you to speak to one of our experienced Miami personal injury lawyers.
Alternative Sources of Financial Compensation
If you are injured in a collision with an uninsured motorist or hit and run driver, lawyers at our Miami Personal Injury Law Firm investigate all potential responsible parties, which include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Owner of the vehicle: Liability may be imposed on a vehicle owner who “negligently entrusts” a vehicle to an obviously unqualified or unsafe driver. “Negligent entrustment” might be a viable legal theory if the owner of the vehicle lends the car to a driver with knowledge the driver is unlicensed or has a poor driving record that includes prior accidents and serious traffic offenses.
- Governmental Entity: The public authority responsible for designing, constructing and maintaining the roadway can be liable when street or interstate defects contribute to or cause a crash. Because public entities often have the benefit of protection against liability claims based on sovereign immunity, the injury victim might need to comply with special notice requirements and deadlines to bring a lawsuit against the public entity. While the precise substantive rules in a dangerous road case will depend on the law of the jurisdiction and other factors, the injured party might need to establish facts showing the public entity “knew or should have known” the road was unsafe. Evidence that might prove valuable in a defective road lawsuit can include reports to the governing public entity of road defects and a history of accidents or near misses at the location.
- Employer of the Driver: The employer of a driver who flees the scene of a crash can be liable even if the driver cannot be tracked down or lacks insurance. An employer can be liable for the negligence of an employee involved in an accidents in the course and scope of employment. The employer might be liable even if the accident occurs outside business hours as long as employee is engaged in a task that benefits his or her employer.
- Other Motorists: More than two motorists can play a role in many collisions, so another driver might be liable even if the driver who fled the scene cannot be found.
- Vehicle (Parts) Manufacturer: If a defective component or vehicle contributes to a crash, the vehicle or component manufacturer might be liable under a theory of product liability. Even if the defective component affected the vehicle that you were driving, you might have a viable legal claim against the automaker.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) & Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage: If you purchased personal injury protection (PIP) and/or uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, these forms of coverage can provide a valuable source of compensation when you are injured by a hit and run or uninsured driver in Florida. PIP coverage provides $10,000 to cover your medical bills and lost wages regardless of fault. If you are not at-fault, your insurance premiums will not increase unless you have had three crashes within a five year period. UM coverage provides compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering once your PIP coverage and bodily injury liability coverage of the at-fault driver are exhausted. While many people presume they do not need a lawyer to pursue payment from their own insurance company, insurance carriers are not anxious to pay benefits, so you might want a Florida Uninsured Motorist Claims Lawyer in your corner.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: 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 and Urbano 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.