We all understand that there are risks associated with driving. However, driving for most people is a necessary risk they have to take for essential daily activities like running errands and traveling to and from work. When an ordinary drive across town turns into a severe accident, you may face extreme physical pain and anxiety. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might have to undergo multiple surgeries or start physical therapy. If you lose wages due to time off work, you could even have trouble paying your medical bills.
The situation becomes even more devastating if the at-fault motorist flees the scene. In a hit and run accident, you may not be able to recall the other driver’s full license plate number, making it harder to correctly identify a defendant. However, when the police are able to find the negligent driver, liability in Tampa hit and run accident cases becomes much clearer.
But, even if you cannot find out who the driver was that caused the accident, a personal injury attorney can help you figure out if you are able to get insurance money to cover your injuries and car damage. Reach out to a skilled car accident lawyer for more information about how you can gather evidence and determine fault after a hit and run crash.
The Presumption of Negligence When a Driver Flees the Scene
Liability is the most important part of any car accident case. To prove that you deserve compensation after a collision, you must establish that someone else’s negligence directly caused the crash. You must also prove your injuries have led to compensable damages.
In hit and run cases, there is a strong presumption of guilt against the driver who fled the scene. This means you will be in a solid position when dealing with the insurance adjusters. If you suffered severe injuries in a hit and run accident, our legal team at Hancock Injury Attorneys can help you seek compensation from the negligent party.
Identifying the Negligent Motorist
In order to hold the other party liable, you will need to identify them. This can be particularly difficult in hit and run situations, but many of the injured parties that come to our firm have been able to recall some identifying factors. You may remember details such as:
- The color of the vehicle
- The make and model of the vehicle
- A partial license plate number
This type of information can be very useful in the investigation. Our legal team can contact the police on your behalf and give them any evidence that could aid them in the search for the other driver. Attorney Mike Hancock has handled numerous hit and run cases throughout his career, and has had about a 50 percent success rate with finding the at-fault motorist with the police’s help.
How Can Witnesses Help Identify the At-Fault Driver?
In some hit and run cases, there are witnesses who stay at the scene of the accident after the negligent driver flees. Someone who was nearby may approach you saying they took a picture of the other person’s license plate. When a witness is able to document relevant information, it can make it much easier to find the fleeing driver and hold them liable for the hit and run accident.
Reviewing Security Camera Footage
If your accident happened in front of a retail establishment, our legal team can ask the business owner to review the surveillance footage they have. It is possible that the shop’s security cameras captured the crash and the other car’s license plate number. This would be another strong piece of evidence against the other driver.
How Would a Jury Assess Fault in a Tampa Hit and Run Case?
If the police find the driver, and your case goes to court, it is likely that the jury will find the other party liable for your injuries. Once a jury hears that the defendant fled the scene of the car accident, it will become clear that they violated state traffic laws. Proving that the other party was criminally liable can strengthen your case for civil liability.
Juror Emotions and Potential Damages
Not only is the jury likely to find the defendant liable, but they may also allow their emotions to influence their judgment on damages. It is not uncommon for jurors to get emotionally invested in cases. If the jury has strong negative feelings about the defendant’s actions, they will likely inflate the damages award in their verdict. The Tampa injury attorneys at our firm can help you understand how a jury’s opinion on liability could benefit you in a hit and run case. Your potential recovery could include compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Future loss of earning capacity
- Ongoing medical treatment
Can You Pursue a Claim Even If You Do Not Find the Other Driver in Florida?
If you cannot find the other driver, your case is not necessarily over. For those who have uninsured motorist coverage our firm can help with the claims process. Every uninsured motorist policy is different, so it is crucial to get in touch with an attorney who can examine the terms of your contract.
Some insurance companies require you to make a police report within 24 hours of the collision. You might even have a deadline for notifying your insurer. Our hit and run attorneys in can inform you of these rules and help you pursue compensation even if you cannot find the negligent motorist.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Prove Liability in a Tampa Hit and Run Accident Case
Hit and run accident claims are much more difficult than the typical car crash. Though liability can be easier to prove, identifying the defendant can be challenging. For this reason, it is best to contact Hancock Injury Attorneys as soon as possible.
We will immediately start our own investigation to identify the other driver. We can contact witnesses and send investigators to surrounding businesses to locate surveillance footage. Our team can also inform you of reporting requirements with the police or your insurance company. Schedule a free consultation with us today to discuss liability in Tampa hit and run accident cases.