In late July, a pedestrian was struck and injured by a car on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami. The driver of the car, a white Chevrolet Impala, allegedly got out, looked at the victim, then got back in his car and sped off. The victim of the personal injury accident was taken to the hospital.
Authorities later arrested a 33-year old stock analyst for the hit-and-run. Police say the man fell asleep at the wheel before the accident. He has been charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.
Hit-and-run accidents like this one cause particular anguish to seriously injured pedestrians. In this case the authorities have arrested the alleged driver, and the injured party can at least hope the man, if found to be at fault, had liability insurance from which the victim can recover damages.
But in many cases the hit-and-run driver is never found. In those cases injured victims may wonder if they have any source of compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
If the victim has an automobile insurance policy, the answer should be yes. The policy will provide personal injury protection benefits which will cover medical and other expenses, up to certain limits. In addition, if the policy provided uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, that coverage will cover additional expenses. The coverage is found in the insured's own policy, or in some cases the policy of a resident relative.
Uninsured motorist coverage is required by Florida statutes to be included in every automobile insurance policy, but it can be rejected in writing by the insured. The coverage is often written to cover similar damages as liability coverage, including pain and suffering. It applies when the insured is involved in a collision with a negligent driver who did not have insurance, did not have enough insurance to cover the victim's total damages, or cannot be identified because he or she left the scene of the accident.
Source: Miami Herald, "Stock analyst charged with DUI in Biscayne Blvd. hit-and-run" Anthony Cave, July 27, 2012