Hit-and-Run Collisions on the Rise in SWFL

A rash of hit-and-run collisions in Southwest Florida highlights the growing risks for victims. uninsured accidents

FOX4 reports a hit and run was recently caught on cellphone camera in Cape Coral. The video reportedly captured the driver hiding his license plate before fleeing the scene, according to the driver who was struck at Veterans Memorial Parkway and Santa Barbara Boulevard.

WINK News reports a suspected hit-and-run driver was arrested after a hit-and-run accident killed a pedestrian on US-41 in North Fort Myers.

FOX News reports an 83-year-old was killed after being hit twice in a hit and run in Lehigh Acres.

Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know these types of accidents often involve vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycle riders, who are very seriously injured or killed. We are often asked about what help for victims is available if an at-fault driver flees the scene.

Hit-and-Run Accident Claims

Early consultation with an experienced injury law firm is essential to protecting your rights. If a driver is located, he or she can be pursued for damages, both individually, and via a claim against an at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. Unfortunately, in too many cases a driver is not located, or he or she does not have auto insurance or lacks enough insurance to adequately compensate injury victims for damages.

Florida has the lowest auto insurance requirements in the nation, requiring just $10,000 in property damage coverage and $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage. These requirements are a joke. There is no other way to put it. Additionally, Florida is among states with the highest percentage of uninsured drivers on the road. About 1 in 5 drivers in Florida are on the road without insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

For these reasons, our experienced injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers have long urged motorists to carry optional uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage, which is typically available for a modest increase in premiums. This coverage protects you and your family in the event of an accident with a motorist who either does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance to compensate you for damages. It also protects you in the event of a collision with a motorist who flees the scene and is not located, or is located but does not have insurance, or enough insurance, to pay your claim.

As for motorists who flee the scene, it’s important to note that Florida continues to take steps to make doing so a serious crime.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports nearly 25 percent of all crashes involve a hit-and-run driver. F.S. 316.027, the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act named for a cyclist and father who was fatally struck by a drunk driver who fled the scene in South Florida, makes leaving the scene of a property-damage crash punishable by up to 60 days in jail. For those who leave the scene of a crash with injuries, the penalty is a three-year revocation of driving rights and up to five years in prison. Drivers who leave the scene of a fatal crash face a penalty of up to 30 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of four years behind bars.

If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.


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