You may not hear about them often, but hit and run accidents are much more common than most people think. Approximately 11 percent of all police reported crashes involve at least one driver who flees the scene. This means that one out of every ten motor vehicle accidents is a hit and run! And many times, the result of these collisions in severe injury or death. A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that nearly 1,500 people die annually in hit and run crashes, and that number has steadily
increased since 2003. The greater Tampa Bay area is not immune to motorists and pedestrians that experience these adverse situations. The Tampa Bay Times reported that the number of hit and run crashes in Hillsborough, Hernando, Pinellas, and Pasco climbed to 11,817 in 2016. Three years earlier it was 9,721, marking a 21.5 percent increase since then!
A motor vehicle accident can be classified as a hit and run when one or more drivers purposefully and knowingly leave the scene of the crash without offering any sort of contact information. One can likely feel flustered and aggravated if they ever become the victims of a hit and run accident. This is understandable. But it is very important to keep a level head observe all the details you can. Be sure to follow these crucial steps if you ever find yourself in this unfortunate circumstance:
- Gather ALL the information you can get as soon as you see the driver begin to flee the scene. Having this information will both help the police catch the person/vehicle that hit you and help your insurance company make decisions about your claim. Examples of data that should be gathered are:
- Vehicle model, make, and color
- License plate number
- Description of driver
- What direction they drove off
- Pull over to the shoulder or side of the road. Regardless of whether or not the driver sped off, it is important to make sure that you are not obstructing traffic.
- Take a look around for witnesses that may have seen the accident occur. Gather their contact information – they could prove t be a valuable resource should the case ever go to court.
- Record the location in which you got hit as well as the time of the collision
- Snap a healthy amount of pictures of both the accident scene and your car. If the other car’s paint was scratched off on to the body of your car, this is prime evidence! Get a picture of it.
- Call local law enforcement as soon as you can and file an accident report that includes all of the information that you gathered above
If you ever become the victim of a hit and run and you are in need of knowledgeable professionals to manage your case, we can schedule a meeting to go over all of your legal options. To make an inquiry or schedule a free consultation, please call (813) 873-0180 or visit our website at franco-law.com.
All Female Legal Team
Christine Franco and her experienced personal injury team have been practicing law in Tampa, Florida since 1997. Franco Law Group represents only the injured and disabled. Our firm consists of personal injury lawyers, case managers, paralegals, and assistants that are all committed to managing your case efficiently and to protecting your legal rights. Christine Franco, Esq. has been practicing law ever since she received her J.D. from Stetson College of Law in 1995. Megan Williams, a social security attorney at our firm, received her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law.