The Florida Highway Patrol recently released hit-and-run statistics for last year, and the news isn't great for Florida drivers. In 2017, there were more than 98,000 hit and run crashes in the state. The FHP Patrol worked about 24,000 of them, according to News Channel 7.
Hit and run collisions account for a whopping 25 percent of car accidents in Florida. That means when you're hit by another driver, there's a one-in-four chance that they will flee before you can exchange insurance information. It's important that motorists are prepared in the event of such a collision.
What can hit and run victims do?
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is a tremendous hassle, especially if you are trying to recover from an injury at the same time. While there is no way to ensure the other driver does the right thing and sticks around, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself:
- Record as much information as possible - Write down everything you can remember about the car and driver that hit you, including the color, make, description and license plate of the car, what direction it went, physical description of the driver, time and location of the accident, and contact information for any witnesses. Take photos of any damage caused to your vehicle.
- Call the police and stay at the scene - Even if the other driver fled, it is wise to stay at the scene until the police arrive and make an accident report. They may discover evidence that helps them catch the hit-and-run driver. Of course, if you sustain serious injuries you should head to the hospital - your health comes first.
- Contact your insurer - You are required to cooperate with your insurance company's investigation into the accident, but no one else's. Answer your insurer's questions honestly but briefly.
- Talk to an attorney - If you're lucky, your insurance company will do the right thing and pay your claim in full so you can get back to your life. However, often your insurer will try to save money by delaying or denying coverage. If you have any concerns about your ability to recover physically or financially after an accident, a lawyer can help.