Hidden in Duval County: What to Do If You’re Involved in a Hit and Run Car Accident
Our great hometown of Jacksonville is known for so many wonderful things – fabulous beaches, amazing amenities, fantastic people.
But we’re also known for something not so terrific – having Florida’s highest number of hit and run accidents, per capita.
Those in law enforcement aren’t sure why Jacksonville has this dubious distinction, but it’s real. And 2021 is shaping up to be no exception – so far this year, more than 2,200 hit and run crashes have occurred in Duval County. That’s on the heels of having 6,672 in 2020. That raw number ranks Duval County third in the state, but adjusted for population, Duval’s 667 hit and run wrecks per 100,000 residents is the worst among Florida’s 67 counties.
Breaking that down to a daily number makes the magnitude of the problem even more stark: Pre-COVID, Duval County averaged 19 hit and run car accidents per day. Actually “per day” is a little deceiving – according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, most hit and run accidents happen between 6 p.m and 5 a.m. In other words, while it’s dark.
So what should you do if you’re involved in a hit and run?
Make Sure You’re Not the “Run” in Hit and Run
Florida law says that anyone involved in a car accident must stay at the scene long enough to make sure everyone is OK and to “render to any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance.” The law also requires that the people involved in the car crash make sure to exchange basic information, such as name, address, and insurance information.
If You’re Involved in a Hit and Run, Move Your Vehicle to a Safe Area
If you’re blocking traffic, move your vehicle into a safe area – there are far too many secondary car accidents that happen when people are in a daze or distressed after an initial car crash, and the last thing anyone needs is for someone to get hurt wandering aimlessly after being involved in an accident.
Call 911 and Take Notes While You Wait for the Police
A police report will help when filing with your insurance company. While you wait for the police to arrive, write down or type into your phone what you remember from the hit and run car accident, particularly about the person who fled the scene. Additionally, take photos and/or videos to show damage and how the car crash happened. If there are eyewitnesses, encourage them to stay and give a statement to police. If they can’t or won’t stay, try to get their contact information for the police. You will also want to get contact information from all related parties.
Don’t Admit Fault at the Scene of the Accident
Often, recollections are hazy and those at fault may try to convince others to take the blame. This can even be true in a hit and run accident. Wait until after you have consulted a Farah & Farah attorney before making a judgment about who was at fault.
The same thing applies to contacting your insurance company. Wait until you’ve consulted an experienced car accident attorney before sharing any details.
All of this advice is about safety – being aware of the risks of a hit and run car accident and what can happen after this type of car crash. Armed with this information, you can go back to enjoying all the great things about life in your hometown – just as Farah & Farah attorneys have for over 40 years.