Personal Injury Lawyer West Palm Beach & South Florida

How to Handle a Hit and Run Claim in West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach auto accident attorneyIn the state of Florida, drivers are required by law to buy $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as well as $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage. Property damage liability coverage is supposed to pay for property damage you cause someone else to experience if you are responsible for a car crash. Personal injury protection pays for your medical care and your wage loss if you are in a crash, regardless of who is to blame for the accident.

If you are involved in a hit and run crash, you may not need to rely on finding the other driver if your injuries are minor ones. You can contact your own insurer, make a PIP claim and get coverage up to policy limits. However, your car insurance may not cover your own property damage to your vehicle, unless you have collision coverage. If you have sustained serious injuries, your insurance may also not provide enough coverage for all of your losses. You can pursue a claim against the other driver, but this is difficult to do if the driver is not found.

West Palm Beach Car Accident Claims

When a hit and run accident happens, contact your insurance company and report the collision right away. Let your insurer know if you have been hurt or suffered property damage and if you expect to recover insurance benefits.

Contact the police from the crash scene. The police may be able to to identify the driver who left the crash scene. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal, and the driver could face serious penalties, especially if anyone was hurt or killed. Police will contact area hospitals and body shops to make them alert to the fact the driver may be seeking medical attention or repairs to his vehicle. Police may also post information about the vehicle and ask for witnesses to come forward. The more information you can provide to a law enforcement officer about the driver who hit you, the greater the chance the driver will be found.

If the driver is identified and you can prove the motorist caused the accident and hurt you, you can try to pursue a claim against him for serious injuries as well as for other damages he caused you to experience. Finding the driver does not guarantee you will actually be able to obtain compensation from him. Many drivers leave the scene of a collision because they are frightened about not having a valid license or not having insurance. If the driver does not have insurance, there may be no money available to pay for your losses.

You can make a claim against a person without insurance and you can sue the individual personally. If the court finds for you and enters a judgment, it may be difficult for you to collect depending upon whether the driver who hurt you had any income or assets. You can get a lien on property or get the person's wages garnished if you are able to get a judgment against him, but if someone has no income and assets he is said to be judgment-proof since a court judgment cannot be informed.  You may be forced to rely only on your insurance coverage if the driver who hit you had no coverage and has no money.

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Since 1980, Attorney David Glatthorn has been serving the residents of West Palm Beach. He works in many areas of personal injury law, including car accidents, slip and fall injuries, workplace injuries and many others. Attorney Glatthorn is known for his dedication and experience. If you were injured due to another person's negligence, call David Glatthorn Law today.

David J. Glatthorn, P.A.
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