A fatal hit-and-run on Saturday, March 30, 2019, killed the rider after throwing them and their passenger off the bike and onto the pavement. Tragically, the operator of the motorcycle died from his wounds, and they took the passenger 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 received a charge with leaving the scene of a fatal crash and hit-and-run 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 a higher risk of death or more serious injury. They are:
- Neck Injuries: Stabilize neck injuries quickly because 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 breathe and get oxygen.
- Heart Attack: The stress of an accident can cause a heart attack. A quick response from EMS can make a difference.
- Pregnancy/Delivery: An accident can put a pregnant woman into labor. 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. Because the at-fault driver isn’t known, the person is unable to collect from that person’s insurance, and the victim wonders how they will pay their bills.
However, if they don’t find the driver there are some resources that someone can use to compensate them for their injuries:
- 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 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 the person 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. These 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 not finding a hit-and-run driver, so long as they were at fault in the accident.
Do I need an Attorney?
If a hit-and-run driver injures you or a loved one, you need to talk to an attorney. They 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 our personal injury team 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!”