One of the most common questions we get is this: "If I get hit by a car, can I sue?" Most people ask us this after they've been hit by a vehicle, then abandoned at the scene, also known as a hit-and-run. Hit-and-runs are the worst thing a driver can do to another person. Car accidents are traumatizing and extremely damaging in the best of cases—but to leave a person injured on the side of the road out of fear of the consequences? That’s a brazen and malicious act of cowardice, plain and simple. There’s a reason hit-and-runs are a criminal offense.
However, whether the at-fault driver is caught or convicted does nothing for the injured party. Only a car accident claim in civil court against the other driver (or your own insurer) will provide any relief or compensation to the person who was hurt by their actions.
This blog is for people who were injured in a hit-and-run car accident and weren’t able to get information before the driver left the scene. Read below to learn about your options and potential strategies to get the financial support you need.
Can You Sue for a Hit & Run?
The short answer is "yes." As a no-fault insurance state, Florida ensures that drivers who are hurt in a hit-and-run have the ability to pay for basic medical care. With PIP (personal injury protection), you are entitled to file a claim against your own insurance company for the medical care you need. However, this only covers basic care—it doesn’t provide for pain and suffering (or for vehicle repairs).
For people who require a vehicle to go to work, have lost their ability to earn a living, or suffered a severe injury that has left them emotionally and psychologically traumatized, PIP doesn’t cover nearly enough. So where do they turn? If the driver isn’t able to be held responsible, who can possibly be accountable? If you get hit by a car, who can you sue if the police never catch the driver?
Answering that question is the role of a Miami car accident attorney.
The Two Ways to Recover in a Miami Hit-&-Run
Our familiarity with the law provides for two possibilities: one is using our resources to investigate your crash and locate the at-fault driver. Subpoenaing security footage, traffic cams, or other evidence could help us find the culprit—even if you couldn’t get a good look at their car.
The other possibility is investigating your case to determine every party who could have contributed to your injuries.
Here are parties who potentially contributed to your accident:
- Employers (if it was a commercial truck)
- Dram shop owners (if the driver was drunk)
- Your mechanic (if your vehicle failed you)
- Other drivers in the collision
- Highway designers (if traffic patterns contributed)
Who Else Could I Sue for a Hit-&-Run?
You could potentially hold multiple parties accountable for their role in causing your injuries—even if they’re not the primary parties at fault. That's because Florida is a pure comparative negligence state when it comes to hit-and-runs.
Comparative negligence works by assigning responsibility in the form of a percentage to each party. If a defendant is found 40% responsible (comparatively) for your injuries, they are responsible for paying 40% of your total court award. It works both ways though—if a plaintiff is 20% responsible for a collision, they can only receive (at the most) 80% of their court award.
The Importance of an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
When it comes to recovering from your losses, a Miami hit-and-run accident attorney’s investigative resources could mean the difference between a life of debt and a life of stability and health. That’s why Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain, P.A. strives to be the leader in car accident litigation in Miami. Our investigations are exceptionally thorough, allowing us to either find the driver responsible or find out who else contributed to your pain.
In the end, all that matters to us is that you’re taken care of. That’s our only goal and the only standard we aim to meet. It doesn’t matter if that means bringing your case against a local bartender and the city’s civil planners or poring through hours of traffic cam footage—we’re advocating for your future. We take that as seriously as you do.
If you’ve been hurt in a hit-and-run, let us help you bring those at fault to justice. Call (305) 770-6335 or contact us online to have us lay out your legal options and figure out the best next step for you.