Tampa Hit and Run Accident Lawyers

Being involved in a hit-and-run accident in Tampa can be a distressing and life-altering experience. The initial shock of the collision is often compounded by the anxiety of not knowing who is responsible and the subsequent aftermath that follows. From mounting medical bills to the physical and emotional toll it takes, the aftermath of a hit-and-run incident can be overwhelming. 

Tampa Hit and Run Accident Lawyers

In such situations, it's crucial to understand your rights and options and seek the assistance of legal experts who can help you navigate this challenging journey with compassion and confidence.   

If you were hit by a fleeing driver, you may be dealing with the stress of an ongoing police investigation as well as the burden of paying for your medical costs. Let our lawyers handle the legal side of things and pursue the financial resources you need. The experienced Tampa hit-and-run accident lawyers at Hancock Injury Attorneys are here to assist you. Contact us for a free case evaluation. Our Tampa office serves clients throughout Central Florida, including Tampa, Spring Hill, and Wesley Chapel. Call us at 813-915-1110 to schedule a free consultation. 

Why Choose Hancock Injury Attorneys?

Many people think that if they are injured in a hit-and-run accident, it’s not possible to make a claim for personal injury because the other driver is nowhere to be found. This is certainly not the case. Uninsured/underinsured coverage may cover your medical bills and hospital expenses while searching for the guilty party. Hit-and-run accidents can present an uphill battle, but you do have options.

Often, the best way to achieve appropriate compensation is through your insurance policy, which is why you should contact Hancock Injury Attorneys to advise you on the process. Contact us today to discuss your case and discover how we can help you on your path to justice. 

Our Office Locations

Our primary offices are located in Tampa at 1317 W Fletcher Ave., Tampa, Florida 33612. You can reach us by phone at the Tampa office at 813-915-1110. We have additional offices in Wesley Chapel at 2224 Ashley Oaks Circle, Suite 102-E, Wesley Chapel, Florida 33544. Call the Wesley Chapel office at 813-537-6927. We serve clients in Tampa, Spring Hill, Wesley Chapel, and throughout central Florida. 

Hit and Run Accidents in Tampa and Florida

According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 5,949 total hit-and-run crashes in the Tampa area in the most recent 11-month reporting period. Hit-and-run accidents accounted for 17 fatalities and 1,482 injuries. 

In a recent five-year reporting period 515,957 hit-and-run crashes in the state resulted in 1,251 fatalities. That, on average, is 103,191 hit-and-run crashes resulting in 250 deaths per year in the state. Florida recorded 104,895 hit-and-run crashes and 266 fatalities in the last reporting year.

FLHSMV reported 144 of the hit-and-run fatalities in the most recent study year were pedestrians and 50 were bicyclists, totaling 73% of hit-and-run fatalities. While overall hit-and-run fatalities were down compared to the previous reporting year, the percentage of bicyclists and pedestrians who died in hit-and-run crashes rose by 3%. 

Florida Laws for Hit and Run Accidents

Hit and runs in Tampa are governed by Florida Statute 316.061, under a section titled Crashes Involving Damage to Vehicle or Property. This law states that any vehicle involved in a crash resulting only in property damage must stop and remain at the scene of the accident until they have fulfilled the requirements set forth in Florida Statute 316.062. Essentially, if a person leaves the scene of an accident that involves property damage, injury, or death, they have committed a hit and run under state law. 

Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act

Hit and Run Accident

Penalties are now more severe than ever for drivers who leave the scene of a crash, especially when the incident involves bodily injury. In 2014 Governor Rick Scott signed The Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act into law; aimed at increasing penalties for drivers found responsible for hit-and-run crashes.

These increased penalties include:

  • A minimum 3-year license suspension, with added educational requirements for the driver for leaving the scene of a crime.
  • A minimum charge of a third-degree felony when the accident results in an injury that is not considered “serious bodily injury,” as defined by Florida statute 316.027.
  • A charge of a second-degree felony if the hit and run results in serious bodily injury.
  • A charge of a first-degree felony if the hit and run results in the death of an injured person.
  • A minimum term of 4 years in prison for the convicted driver if the hit and run results in the death of a person.
  • A minimum term of 4 years in prison if the convicted driver was found driving under the influence (DUI).

The Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act is named after Aaron Cohen, a 31-year-old avid cyclist and father of two who was killed by an alcohol-impaired driver who fled the crash scene in South Florida. The hit-and-run driver was sentenced to two years in prison, a lesser sentence than what the motorist would have served had he been sentenced on a DUI manslaughter charge.

Duty to Give Information and Render Aid

Section 316.062, titled Duty to Give Information and Render Aid, sets legal requirements for a Tampa driver after causing an accident. They must:

  • Exchange insurance information and driver’s licenses.
  • Give their name, address, and vehicle registration number.
  • Show their license or permit to drive to any person injured, upon request and if available.
  • Show such license or permit to any police officer at the accident scene.
  • Render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the crash, including carrying or making arrangements for the carrying of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment. 

Important Steps to Take After a Motorist Flees The Scene

If you find yourself in a hit-and-run situation, the first thing you need to do is make sure you evaluate your injuries. Always call law enforcement and remain at the site. Assess the situation and get help for anyone who needs medical attention. While it is easy to become anxious, try to remain calm and wait for the police to arrive. Leaving the scene of the accident will only make matters worse. Here are some important steps to take after a hit-and-run accident:

  • Try everything within reason to get information about the fleeing driver and their vehicle. This could include the vehicle’s make, model, color, and license plate number, as well as any details about what the driver looked like.
  • Call the police as soon as you can. It is best to contact 911 from the scene of the hit-and-run accident.
  • Seek medical attention for your injuries. Once the police arrive, they can help with calling an ambulance if needed.
  • Third, call a local attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer must contact your insurance company promptly to comply with any policy requirements. 

The steps you take immediately after a negligent driver flees the scene of a crash can impact your case, so it is best to talk to a lawyer about what to do after an accident. 

How Can I Get Compensation for A Hit and Run In Tampa?

In addition to criminal penalties, sentencing a hit-and-run driver may also include restitution to accident victims. Importantly, Florida Section 316.027 Subsection 2D says that if a driver commits a hit and run, the court shall order them to pay restitution to the victim for any damage or loss.

This restitution can take place over a period of years where the driver is required to make certain monthly payments. Our determined local attorneys can help facilitate a plea bargain deal with the hit-and-run driver that includes a restitution arrangement to cover your losses.

Why Should I Call an Attorney After a Hit and Run?

The most important thing a skilled attorney can do after a hit and run is make an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company if you have this type of coverage. This is often the best way to get compensated for a crash caused by an unknown motorist.

Hit and Run

If the hit-and-run driver is identified and convicted, our legal team can help file a civil suit against them for damages. Unfortunately, the likelihood of getting full restitution from someone who leaves the scene of an accident is very small. However, our attorneys are well-practiced in making insurance claims to cover all a victim’s losses, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical treatment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disability 

Get in touch with a seasoned personal injury lawyer to determine how much compensation you may be entitled to in the wake of a hit-and-run accident.

Why Do Drivers Leave the Scene of An Accident?

Out of the many hit-and-run cases in Tampa that our firm has handled, the most common reason for a driver running from the scene is that they fear charges for driving under the influence (DUI). A motorist under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication when they collide with another person or vehicle may leave the scene of the accident to avoid DUI penalties.

Another common cause of hit-and-run accidents is uninsured motorists. A driver may leave the scene of an auto collision if they know that they are driving without the required amount of insurance in Florida. 

Our experienced legal team has also seen hit-and-run accidents involving a person fleeing arrest. If a driver has a warrant out for their arrest when they cause a car crash, they will likely leave the scene to avoid being taken back to jail. 

No matter what someone’s reason is to leave, no excuse is valid. If you've been negligently hit, their departure only adds to your worries about mounting bills, injuries, and other damages. Our experienced attorneys may be able to get you compensation, even if the driver is not found. 

Types Of Hit and Run Crimes According to Florida Law

Florida law outlines the levels of severity for different hit-and-run scenarios. These subsections cover accidents involving just property damage, personal injury, serious bodily injury, and death. If you or a family member was hurt in a Tampa hit-and-run accident, an experienced lawyer can further explain the applicable laws for your circumstances. 

Misdemeanor Hit and Runs

If a driver fails to complete their duty to give information and render aid after causing property damage in a car crash, they have committed a second-degree misdemeanor. 

Felony Hit and Runs

If a driver willfully violates their duties after being involved in an accident that results in personal injury to another person, they have committed a third-degree felony. This crime is increased to the second degree for hit and runs that involve serious bodily injury, and the first degree for death. Mandatory minimum sentencing for these crimes includes four years of imprisonment. 

Contact Hancock Injury Attorneys Today

Claire & Mike

If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run accident in Tampa, don't face the aftermath alone. Reach out to Hancock Injury Attorneys today and let us be your advocates in seeking the justice and compensation you deserve. Our experienced team is here to guide you through the legal process with compassion and confidence.

We offer a free consultation to assess your case, discuss the details of your accident, and evaluate your potential claim. This is your opportunity to ask questions and understand your legal options. If you choose to work with us, we'll take care of the legal complexities, gather evidence, and build a strong case. Our goal is to secure the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Contact us by calling 813-915-1110 or filling out the contact form on this website.