Thousands of car accidents occur every day, most of which happen in active traffic. However, it is possible for a driver to return to their parked vehicle only to discover that someone has hit their car and fled the scene. This can be distressing and frustrating for any vehicle owner, and it is important to know what you can do to resolve this type of hit-and-run accident. Your first challenge will be to identify and locate the driver who hit your car.
A hit-and-run incident occurs whenever a driver fails to follow the accident reporting rule in the state. State law requires drivers to call 911 to report any accident that results in death, injury, or significant property damage. Failure to meet this requirement is a criminal offense, and the at-fault driver can face a hit-and-run charge. When a driver hits a parked vehicle, they are required to stay at the scene of the crash and try to locate the vehicle’s owner. If they cannot, they must leave a note with their contact information and insurance details.
If you return to your parked vehicle to discover that someone has hit your car and fled the scene, an experienced car accident attorney in Jacksonville, FL, can provide the legal assistance you need to resolve the situation effectively. Your attorney can coordinate with local law enforcement, secure traffic camera footage, and interview witnesses to the accident to help you locate the at-fault driver.
After locating the at-fault driver, an insurance claim can potentially help you recover your damages, but if they do not have insurance, you will need to proceed with a personal injury claim. Your attorney can help you calculate all the damages you can include in your claim to maximize your compensation. Additionally, the state is likely to open a criminal case against the defendant for violating the state’s hit-and-run law.
A hit-and-run accident is a criminal offense. The driver responsible for your parked car accident is not only liable for your damages, but they also face criminal penalties, including fines, driver’s license suspension, and jail time. The standard penalty for a hit-and-run accident resulting in property damage only is up to $500 in fines and up to 60 days in jail, and the offense will qualify as a second-degree misdemeanor. The criminal nature of the at-fault driver’s actions may influence your recovery, such as enabling you to collect punitive damages or restitution along with your other claimed losses. When you choose an experienced car accident attorney to represent you, they can assist you with maximizing your recovery as much as state law allows.
A: Yes, if another driver is responsible for damage to your vehicle in any way, you have the right to seek accountability for your damages. You can file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver, and if this does not fully cover your damages, you can proceed with a personal injury claim. You must file a personal injury claim if they do not have insurance, and if they hit your vehicle and fled the scene, the state is likely to file charges against them for hit and run.
A: Insurance rates for individual drivers typically only increase when the driver causes an accident or violates the terms of their insurance policy somehow. If someone hit your parked car, you were not driving at the time so there is no way for the insurance company to claim you were responsible for the accident. The only possible exception would be if you parked somewhere illegally and your car was hit. Review the terms of your policy to verify the conditions under which your premiums would increase.
A: Florida law requires drivers to remain at the scene of an accident. If a driver hits a parked vehicle, they should stop and try to locate the vehicle’s owner. If they cannot find them in a reasonable time, they must leave a note on the vehicle with their contact information and insurance details. Failure to meet these requirements can lead to a hit-and-run charge, which may constitute a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the severity of the damage done and the at-fault driver’s criminal record.
A: Hiring an experienced attorney to assist you in the aftermath of a parked car accident can significantly improve the quality of your recovery. They can also likely speed up the time it takes you to recover your damages, guiding you through the insurance claim filing process before helping you build a personal injury case. Working with an attorney not only makes handling the aftermath of your accident easier but will also likely lead to a better outcome than you could have managed on your own.
A: Once you identify the party responsible for causing your accident, state law enables you to hold them accountable for any economic losses they inflicted. These may include your vehicle repair costs, lost income, and other damages. If you were not in your vehicle when the accident happened, it is unlikely that you suffered injuries that will demand medical attention. However, your total property losses could amount to more than you initially expected, so it is important to have an experienced attorney review your claim to help you determine the full scope of damages you can seek from the at-fault driver.
The team at Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys has the skills and resources necessary to help you navigate any type of car accident case. If another driver hit your parked vehicle and fled the scene, we can assist you with locating them and holding them appropriately accountable for your damages. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we can provide.