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RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
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Hit-and-Run Accidents

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Personal Injury

The Automobile Collision Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. represent the victims and family members of those injured or killed in hit-and-run accidents. Failure to remain at the scene of an accident is not only unlawful, but can leave a victim in a dangerous and defenseless condition. In some cases, the victim may be left without the means or ability to obtain the emergency medical attention needed. In addition, the position of the victim or the victim’s vehicle following impact may put them at risk for subsequent collisions with other oncoming motorists.

Following a hit-and run, the victim may become distressed about issues such as determining the sources available, as well as the means necessary, to obtain compensation for damages. Victims of hit-and-run collisions often have questions and concerns regarding insurance coverage. Specifically, which damages are compensable, and under whose auto insurance policy? In understanding the application of a particular policy in an action for damages caused due to a hit-and-run crash, it is helpful to distinguish between the three primary types of coverage: Personal Injury Protection; Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage; and Bodily Injury Coverage.

In the majority of cases, Personal Injury Protection benefits (PIP) can be paid through the victims own auto insurance, a resident relative, or a motorist other than the hit-and-run driver. Therefore, identification of a hit-and-run driver, at least for compensation through PIP, is typically of lesser concern. While conceivably, an accident could occur involving injury to a passenger in an uninsured vehicle, who does not have their own auto insurance policy, and that is not covered by a policy of a resident relative or any other person—this type of scenario is far less common.

Consequently, unless the victim has no other source of recovery for PIP—compensation for 80% of medically necessary treatment and 60% of work loss benefits, up to $10,000, as well as 100% of death benefits up to $5,000 (or the limits of an applicable policy that includes extended PIP coverage)—is generally available, regardless as to if the hit-and-run driver is ultimately located.

Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage is one of the most common sources of compensation in hit-and-run crashes. UIM coverage is particularly important when the identity of a motorist that left the scene of an accident cannot be ascertained. This type of coverage extends to three classes of persons: (1) the insured; (2) members of the insured’s household; and (3) persons injured while in the insured’s vehicle. However, because Florida auto policies are not required to include this type of additional coverage, the availability of compensation under UIM coverage is dependent on whether the victim is covered under an insurance policy that has elected to include such coverage.

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In contrast to PIP and UIM, identification of a hit-and-run driver is critical to seeking recovery for injury and damages from Bodily Injury (BI) coverage. This is because BI provides coverage for injuries sustained by persons other than the insured, but that were caused as a result of the insured’s actions. In order to seek compensation under BI following an accident caused by a hit-and-run motorist, that motorist must (1) be identified; (2) carry auto insurance; and (3) have a policy that includes additional coverage for Bodily Injury (optional in Florida).

It is important to know, that identification of the hit-and-run driver is not always necessary in order for the victim to seek financial compensation for their injuries. However, determining the appropriate course of action following a hit-and-run crash is generally dependent upon whether the motorist and/or vehicle responsible has been identified. For this reason, it is imperative that you discuss the matter with an attorney that is experienced in hit-and-run accidents.

The Auto Collision Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. have handled numerous cases involving victims injured by motorists that left the scene of an accident. We will review your matter, and explain your legal rights, as well as any options that may be available to you.