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Fatal Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Crash in Hillsborough County
On Saturday, March 30, 2019, a car struck a motorcycle throwing the rider and passenger off the bike and onto the pavement. Tragically, the operator of the motorcycle died from his wounds, and the passenger was taken to a nearby hospital where she is recovering.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver of the car, a 2001 Hyundai, then fled the scene leaving the victims on the pavement. Police are still looking for the driver, and it’s unclear at this time if alcohol was a factor. Once found the driver is potentially facing felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident with serious injury. (Update: 4/1/2019 the driver turned themselves in and was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash and leaving the scene of a crash with serious injury.)
A victim of a hit-and-run accident faces a unique risk caused by the fleeing driver. Many times, the injured person in an accident is unconscious or unable to assist themselves even to get help. If no Good Samaritans are nearby, this delay could mean the victim is more seriously injured or dies.
Also, victims of a hit-and-run feel twice victimized, once by the accident and again when the person flees. This often adds to the stress and anxiety that already accompanies a motor vehicle accident.
Injuries at Further Risk in a Hit-and-Run
There are many types of injuries that can happen in a hit-and-run with some putting the victim at higher risk of death or more serious injury. They are:
- Neck Injuries: Neck injuries need to be stabilized quickly and delays might cause more problems.
- Deep lacerations: Any loss-of-blood injuries can put the victim in danger if first aid is delayed.
- Punctured Lungs: Broken ribs can lead to a punctured lung which can deprive a person of their ability to breath and get oxygen.
- Heart Attack: The stress of an accident can cause a heart attack, and a quick response from EMS can make a difference.
- Pregnancy/Delivery: An accident can put a pregnant woman into labor, and the quicker the response, the more likely there will be a good outcome.
Liability in a Hit-and-Run
For some victims, the hit-and-run driver adds a third victimization when the bills begin piling up. This is because when the at-fault driver isn’t known, then the person is unable to collect from that person’s insurance, and the victim wonders how they are going to pay their bills.
However, there are some resources that someone might be able to use to compensate them for their injuries if the driver is never found:
- Medpay: This is a provision that drivers can get on their own policy that will pay for medical bills regardless of who is at fault or who is injured so long as the insured or their vehicle is involved.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This works similar to medpay, but it pays medical bills and other damages like pain and suffering and loss of wages. It also pays out regardless of who was injured or at fault so long at the insured or their vehicle is involved.
- Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM): Most insurance policies have uninsured/underinsured provisions that will pay those covered by the policy for all personal injury damages if the other driver is underinsured or has no insurance. This can include when a hit-and-run driver is never found, so long as they were at fault in the accident.
Do I need an Attorney for a Hit-and-Run?
If you or a loved ones has been injured in a hit-and-run, you need to talk to an attorney who can evaluate your circumstances and find all sources of compensation for your injuries. Don’t wait for the other driver to be found, act quickly and get the right advice.
If you were involved in a crash similar to this one, contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation. RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head on!” We describe our bold modern approach to “Accident & Personal Injury Law” and “Our Personal Mission” to empower Florida’s families to “Take Charge!”