A driver flees the scene of a fiery crash. The driver of a Chevy SUV swerved to avoid another motorist and lost control of his vehicle. The SUV hit a guard rail and flipped over then caught fire. The driver escaped the flames and paramedics took the driver to Tampa General Hospital.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened around 12:45 a.m. on I-4 east of I-275 in Hillsborough County. The driver of the car that caused the SUV to crash fled the scene and no description of the driver or the car has been given. Anyone with any information about the crash or the unknown vehicle should call the FHP at (813) 558-1800 or *FHP.
A swerve accident is one where a driver causes another to swerve to avoid a collision who then crashes into another car or an object causing injury. Many times, the driver of the car that swerved feels that since the other car didn’t hit them, then they have no claim.
However, the law doesn’t say that. The bottom line is that if any driver does something that causes another person to be inured, there is a potential claim for injuries. The key is whether the at-fault driver was negligent.
Don’t be fooled by an insurance company or their lawyers who tell you that there is no claim because their client’s car never actually struck your car. Call an attorney who can help you with your claim.
Hit-and-Run accidents are especially troubling and can cause additional emotional stress for the victim who often feels twice victimized. First by the collision and then by the fleeing driver who left them injured and without any help.
The problems that come from a hit-and-run are numerous. First, with no one else around the victim is often left without help. Then no one is around to give first aid or call for help. The injured victim might suffer a greater injury because of the delay.
Second, the stress of having been injured and then having the driver flee can cause emotional distress and hamper the healing process.
The injured then becomes victimized a third time when the bills start coming in and there is no money to pay as the injured is out of work. This brings up many questions for the injured regarding who will cover those losses when the at-fault person hasn’t been identified.
- Who will pay my medical bills?
- Can I file the accident on my own insurance policy?
- What injuries can I claim?
- What if I wasn’t using my own car, can I still use my own insurance?
- Will I have to pay them back if the at-fault driver is found?
These are all good questions for the person injured in a hit-and-run. First, you may be able to file under your own auto insurance policy. Many policies have a Medpay or personal injury protection (PIP) provision that pays for injuries in an auto accident regardless of fault.
Typically, Medpay will only pay for medical bills up to a capped amount, and you may have to pay the insurance company back if the at-fault driver is found and pays you for your losses.
PIP pays for medical bills plus lost time from work and some other things like permanent disability, etc. It also has a cap, but in most policies, you won’t have to pay them back if the at-fault driver is found.
If that isn’t available, then many policies have an uninsured/underinsured provision that will pay out when there is an accident involving a vehicle (even if it’s not yours) for some of your losses if there is no insurance or too little insurance. Depending on the policy, this may cover some of the driver’s losses.
Do I need an Attorney When a Driver Flees the Scene?
Most of these questions and more can be answered by a competent attorney, one who knows the law regarding hit-and-run accidents and one that is experienced with insurance companies. Even if you don’t hire an attorney, you owe it to yourself to talk to one. Then you can make the decision informed and knowing what you are getting into if you decide to go it alone.
Contact a Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer
After any crash, contact an attorney if there is a serious injury or loss of a loved one. RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head-on!”
Anyone injured due to the negligence of another driver in Florida may should us for a free consultation. Our personal injury team will offer you advice to help you get the compensation you deserve.