Largo Hit & Run Accident Attorney
From a criminal law standpoint, about 90 percent of hit-and-run cases in Florida go unsolved. The high burden of proof in criminal court (beyond any reasonable doubt) has much to do with this low resolution rate. Basically, prosecutors must have an overwhelming amount of evidence to convict defendants. Frequently, hit-and-run investigators have little to go on, other than a vague description of the suspect vehicle. So, unless they catch a big break, like someone confessing out of the blue, it’s almost impossible to build a winning case in criminal court.
Law enforcement attitude contributes as well. Fundamentally, many investigators view car crashes, even hit-and-run cases, as civil matters. Therefore, they hesitate to get involved in them. That’s especially true if the case requires a substantial investment of time and other resources. Many times, police investigators would rather commit their resources elsewhere, to matters they consider more serious. This attitude extends to many other kinds of car crashes and other injury claims.
In contrast, the dedicated Largo hit & run accident attorneys are committed to maximum compensation for victims. We’re also committed to justice for accident victims. That’s why we do what we do, and that’s also why we’re very good at what we do. Additionally, the burden of proof (a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not) is much lower in civil court. As a result, a little proof, like a vague vehicle description, often goes a long way.
Civil hit-and-run claims are usually based on negligence. Essentially, negligence is a lack of care. In Florida, a negligence claim has four basic components:
- Duty: Most noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care in the Sunshine State. They must drive defensively and avoid accidents whenever possible. Most commercial operators have a duty of utmost care. They must go above and beyond in their efforts to avoid accidents.
- Breach: A breach of duty is a lack of reasonable or utmost care. Not every driving mistake is a lack of care. Speeding 5mph above the limit probably isn’t serious enough to be a breach of care. Speeding 25mph over the limit is a lot different, especially if the tortfeasor is an Uber driver or other commercial operator.
- Cause: A Largo hit-and-run accident attorney must establish legal cause and factual cause. Legal cause is foreseeability (possibility) of injury. If Sam hits Alice and Alice’s doctor makes a medical mistake, the medical error isn’t a foreseeable injury, as far as Sam is concerned. Factual cause is substantial cause. For example, the weather may contribute to a crash, but the weather almost never causes a crash.
- Damages: Usually, the victim/plaintiff must sustain a tangible injury. There’s a difference between a tangible and a visible injury. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder isn’t a visible injury, but it is a tangible injury. This area is complex in Florida, since the Sunshine State has a no-fault insurance law.
A negligence claim could also be based on a violation of a safety law. In Florida, tortfeasors are presumptively liable for damages if they violate safety laws, like the speed limit law, and cause wrecks.
Most jurors intensely dislike hit-and-run drivers. Since they are reluctant to accept insurance company defenses, the settlement value of a hit-and-run case is often quite high.
Resolving Your Claim for Damages
Over 90 percent of civil claims settle out of court. These resolutions greatly benefit victim/plaintiffs. They give the parties more control over the outcome and end the case earlier, so victims receive their compensation sooner. Moreover, since an attorney is a good negotiator as well as a good litigator, attorneys know when to stand firm and when to compromise.
The compensation in a personal injury claim usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Connect With a Hard-Hitting Pinellas County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced hit & run accident attorney in Largo, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. After hours, virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.