Traffic accidents are traumatic events that carry high costs, especially when those involved suffer severe injuries. Drivers are legally obligated to report accidents and help others secure medical attention if they are physically able. Almost all car accidents are preventable, and most occur because of negligent driver behaviors. Yet, leaving the scene of the accident goes beyond negligence. Not only is it a crime, but it demonstrates a lack of morals and ethics.
If you have suffered injuries in a Tampa hit and run accident, you might feel overwhelmed, helpless, and unsure about what you can do to recover damages. Depending on the situation and whether police locate the hit and run driver, you have a few options.
The experienced Tampa hit and run accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, can review your case and advise you on the best path forward to recoup some or all of the losses related to your accident.
Why Choose Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, for Your Tampa Hit and Run Accident Claim
Make healing from your injuries your primary focus after a traffic accident. Worrying about the financial aspects of the accident and dealing with the insurance company can add unneeded stress to your life, potentially impeding your rehabilitation.
The skilled legal team at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, has more than 50 years of combined experience helping victims of negligence, including those involved in Tampa hit and run accidents. We understand your challenges and know how to help in these seemingly hopeless situations.
Additionally, the attorneys of Holliday Karatinos continue to exude professional excellence with their regular engagement with the broader legal community. Not only do they practice law, but they teach law and give seminars to help other lawyers develop their careers. The firm’s commitment to client advocacy and seeking justice has led to various types of regional and national recognition.
Best Attorneys of America awarded James Wayne Holliday the prestigious “Best Attorney” Lifetime Charter Member. Ted Karatinos is a lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has written articles for Barrister Magazine, The Young Lawyer, The Federal Lawyer, and The Florida Bar Journal. Super Lawyers and The National Trial Lawyers Association have also recognized Holliday Karatinos for their professional excellence.
Our team takes pride in helping those who sustain injuries due to negligence recover the most compensation possible for their situation. In Tampa hit and run accidents, our service often includes focusing on the investigation and employing problem-solving skills to help clients deal with hit and run drivers. Even when police locate a driver, they might not have insurance, further complicating the situation.
We have a long track record of recovering compensation for our clients while providing personalized attention. Although we provide the service of a small law firm, we have the financial resources to take on complex hit and run accident cases. Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, can handle the details of your Tampa hit and run accident claim while you focus on healing and rehabilitation.
You’ll find our main office in Brooksville, but we have offices in Inverness and Lutz to serve residents throughout the area and the state. Tampa residents will find the Lutz office conveniently located off North Dale Mabry Highway at the intersection of Sunlake Boulevard.
We prefer to meet potential clients in person, but injuries and other circumstances sometimes make this impossible. If you are unable to travel to our office, we can set up a convenient online consultation. Contact us online or by phone to discuss the Tampa hit and run accident that led to your injuries and the best way to recoup losses in your situation.
Compensation in Tampa Hit and Run Accident Claims
If you’ve been injured in a Tampa hit and run accident claim, you have little recourse without locating the driver who fled. However, if police locate the hit and run driver, Florida law entitles you to sue them for damages related to the accident. Each case has different circumstances that impact its value and the type of damages someone can recover in a settlement or jury trial.
Common losses that victims of hit and run accidents might recoup from a lawsuit include:
- Medical treatment costs, including ambulance and emergency services, surgery, hospitalization, diagnostic imaging, lab tests, and follow-up care
- Estimated future medical expenses if a Tampa hit and run accident results in a permanent injury that requires additional treatment and care
- Rehabilitation costs, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, mental health services, and other specialized treatments that help accident victims cope with the physical and emotional challenges related to their injuries
- Lost income from missing work
- Lost future income when a permanent injury prevents a hit and run accident victim from returning to work or seeking future employment
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
Your lawyer can review your hit and run case and advise you on which damages apply to your situation.
No-fault Insurance Claims After a Tampa Hit and Run Accident
Florida requires drivers to carry minimum amounts of no-fault insurance when registering a vehicle, including $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) coverage. This coverage is crucial for all traffic accidents, especially when a hit and run occurs.
Your no-fault coverage pays for up to 80 percent of medical expenses and 60 percent of lost earnings up to your policy limit.
Benefits provide interim financial relief when law enforcement cannot locate the hit and run driver. Even when the police find the driver who fled, resolving an insurance claim or lawsuit can take months, sometimes longer.
No-fault insurance does not cover noneconomic losses like pain and suffering and reduced quality of life, and claimants do not fully recoup medical expenses and lost income. An experienced Tampa hit and run lawyer can guide you through the claims process and help you find other paths for compensation beyond Florida’s no-fault insurance benefits.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance and Tampa Hit and Run Accidents
Florida does not require drivers to carry uninsured motorist(UM) insurance. However, it’s a popular add-on option, and those who buy it have an advantage after a Tampa hit and run accident. If law enforcement does not locate the hit and run driver and you’ve purchased UM coverage, your benefits will kick in once you’ve exhausted your PIP policy limit. In your auto insurance provider’s eyes, a hit and run driver is the same as a driver without liability insurance.
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, not all is lost. An experienced Tampa hit and run accident attorney from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, can review the facts of your accident to determine other ways to recover damages.
What Is The Statute of Limitations on Tampa Hit and Run Accident Claims?
It’s crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after a Tampa hit and run accident to preserve the quality of evidence against the driver who left the accident scene. You cannot bring a lawsuit against the driver if law enforcement cannot find them. This could impact your case, but you do have some time. Florida has a four-year statute of limitations for car accident cases.
Also, the law provides scenarios in which the court can pause or toll the statute of limitations. One of those situations occurs when a plaintiff cannot find the defendant’s identity; another occurs when the defendant flees the state or hides out to avoid law enforcement. Even if it takes weeks or months to locate the hit and run driver, you still have the right to take legal action.
Yet, you never want to wait too long to contact an attorney. It’s crucial you meet all deadlines, so you do not miss the opportunity to recover damages for your injuries. Your lawyer can ensure you meet these deadlines while they gather evidence to support your claim.
A Florida court will not hear your case if you miss the statute of limitations deadline. Then you lose any leverage you had for settlement negotiations with the insurance company.
Fighting the Insurance Company After a Tampa Hit and Run Accident
Whether you have to deal with your insurance company or the hit and run driver’s insurance company after an accident, you will have a fight on your hands. Filing a PIP claim under your own policy should be easy, but once you step outside the no-fault system, expect that seeking additional compensation will be challenging. You might assume that filing a claim against uninsured motorist coverage won’t present issues because you are dealing with your own carrier. Often, this is not the case.
Although you pay monthly premiums for insurance coverage, once you file a hit and run accident claim against your own policy, your carrier will still diligently investigate the claim and try to reduce their payout. Insurance companies stay in business by protecting profits and use every strategy possible to avoid paying out claims, even when they come from their policyholders.
Once an auto insurance carrier receives a claim, they assign an adjuster to investigate the claim and determine whether to approve it as submitted. Even when the adjuster cannot deny a claim or dispute liability, they search for information and evidence that gives them justification for reducing the value of the claim.
Having an experienced Tampa hit and run accident attorney in your corner gives you the best chance of winning your case and receiving the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries. Lawyers protect clients from the questionable strategies insurance carriers use to gather information. For example, some auto insurance carriers try to get plaintiffs to sign waivers to release more medical history than necessary, make lowball offers to get claimants to forfeit their right to sue, and request recorded interviews to dig for statements to reduce the value of a claim.
What to Do After a Tampa Hit and Run Accident
Accident victims need to give their full attention to healing and rehabilitation and avoid the stress of locating the hit and run driver and dealing with the insurance company.
However, you can take some steps after a Tampa hit and run accident to help your case and give you the best chance of recouping losses related to the accident.
- Cooperate with law enforcement. Although you can recover some damages under your own auto insurance policies, you can recoup more losses if law enforcement locates the hit and run driver. You likely gave all the information you had at the accident scene or shortly after, but always share any new information that comes to light with the police, no matter how long it’s been since the hit and run.
- Follow doctors’ orders. After your initial visit to the emergency room, the treating physician or your regular doctor provides a treatment plan for your injuries. Follow that plan strictly, and attend all follow-up appointments to show the insurance company you are taking every measure to heal.
- Provide proof of loss. Keep all medical bills, payroll statements, and other receipts showing the economic loss you’ve incurred because of your Tampa hit and run accident. Keep a daily journal—video or handwritten—to convey how your injuries have impacted your life to your lawyer, the insurance company, and other relevant parties.
Bring all saved information and copies of documents to your initial consultation with a Tampa personal injury lawyer from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC. We can evaluate the facts of your case and determine if you have a viable claim and the best way to recover damages.
Let a Tampa Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Help
If you sustained injuries in a Tampa hit and run accident, you could have a legitimate claim against the other driver to recover damages. At the very least, you need to navigate your insurance policies to recoup a portion of your losses.
Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, has the experience and resources to help you through the claims process and fight for you to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at (813) 868-1887 to discuss your Tampa hit and run accident and injuries during a free consultation.
"Attorney James Holliday is the best attorney I have ever worked with. I went to him after an auto accident and I was impressed with his knowledge of the situation and judgement on how to proceed. In the end, Mr. Holliday was able to obtain full compensation. He was also a pleasure to work with."
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Barb C.
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