On September 29, 2013, police arrested a man in St. Cloud, FL, after he allegedly struck a police vehicle and then fled the scene. Fifty-year-old Richard Nielsen is accused of hit-and-run of a patrol car near the intersection of Neptune Road and Old Canoe Road, injuring the police officer in the car. The officer was transported to a local hospital with unspecified injuries. Mr. Nielsen was later apprehended and charged with driving under the influence with serious bodily injury and property damage, aggravated fleeing and eluding.
Although this particular suspect may ultimately be held accountable for any damages and injuries he allegedly caused, hundreds of other Florida drivers are the victims of hit-and-run incidents in which the other driver is never found. Other drivers may have insufficient insurance to cover the victims’ losses, or the negligent drivers may have no insurance at all. Victims in such situations may have several options under Florida law:
- Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage: If your vehicle is involved in a collision with a hit-and-run driver, and that other driver is at fault, UM coverage may compensate you for lost wages, medical bills and wrongful death ― UM coverage generally does not pay for pain and suffering. The same coverage applies in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver, or in a “phantom vehicle” accident ― an accident that causes damage without any physical contact, such as being forced off the road.
- Medical payment insurance: If your medical expenses exceed the amount of personal injury protection coverage, medical payment insurance may pay your excess medical bills. Medical payment insurance is no-fault insurance that applies to you even if you are in another person’s car.
For more information about how Florida’s insurance laws protect you and your family, contact an experienced law firm like Largey Law today.