Estero Hit & Run Accident Lawyer
Hit & run victims who count on the criminal justice system for justice and compensation are usually bitterly disappointed. Over 90 percent of the hit & runs in Lee County never make it to court. Police investigators have such little evidence to work with that they usually abandon these investigations almost immediately. Furthermore, at best, criminal judges only order limited compensation for victims, usually for medical bills only.
In contrast, the tenacious Estero hit & run lawyer at Cardinal Law does not give up. Instead, we will keep working hard until we obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. We lay the groundwork for these claims long before they go to court. We thoroughly review your case, diligently collect evidence, and proactively communicate with you. This simple and straightforward approach usually allows us to obtain results that exceed your expectations.
Criminal Court vs. Civil Court
We mentioned some differences between civil and criminal courts above. The most important difference may be the burden of proof.
Prosecutors must establish guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. This high burden of proof means that many hit & run prosecutions are doomed from the start. Usually, no one saw the hit & run crash from start to finish. Certainly, no one got a good look at the driver. Most of these wrecks happen very quickly and/or at night.
Without such a credible witness, prosecutors cannot possibly identify the driver in court, unless the tortfeasor (negligent driver) voluntarily confessed and came forward.
Civil court is much different. The burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). So, a little evidence goes a long way.
Assume no one sees a car strike and kill a pedestrian. A few blocks away, and shortly after the crash, a bystander sees a car with front end damage at a stoplight. The witness only remembers the last two digits of the license plate number.
This evidence wouldn’t hold up in criminal court. However, it’s more likely than not that the damaged vehicle also caused the hit & run crash. Additionally, an Estero hit & run lawyer can use the license plate information to locate the owner. It’s more likely than not that the owner was driving the vehicle at the time of the wreck.
Jurors normally dislike hit & run drivers. So, they often award substantial compensation to victims. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Other Legal Options
Sometimes, no matter how much an attorney searches for evidence, none is available. Nevertheless, compensation might still be available.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means most drivers have UM/UIM (uninsured/underinsured motorist) coverage. Normally, these policies are gap insurance. If the tortfeasor is underinsured, the UM/UIM policy pays the remainder of the compensation owed.
In these cases, a UM/UIM policy is a primary recovery vehicle. If a lawyer cannot locate a tortfeasor, victims can file claims with their own insurance companies. These claims usually settle quickly, and on victim-friendly terms. Most insurance companies want to keep their paying customers happy.
If the claim doesn’t settle, it usually proceeds to an arbitration hearing. Basically, arbitration is a private trial. At this hearing, lawyers can introduce evidence, challenge evidence, and make legal arguments.
Work With a Detail-Oriented Lee County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Estero hit & run injury lawyer, contact Cardinal Law, P.A. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.