According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit and run accidents are alarmingly common throughout the United States. Although some hit and run accidents only involve minor damage, many of these accidents result in serious, and potentially fatal, injuries. Florida law imposes civil and criminal liability on hit and run drivers depending on the specific facts of the accident.
Recent updates to the Florida Motor Vehicle Statute section 316. 061, provides that drivers must remain at the scene of an accident and provide reasonable assistance to any victims as long as it is safe to do so. Drivers who fail to abide by this rule may be subject to personal injury lawsuits, serious fines, and criminal penalties.
When bringing a personal injury claim, accident victims must provide the trier of fact with proof of a hit and run accident if they wish to recover damages for their losses. The most critical evidence includes information establishing that the person who left the accident scene was the driver involved in the accident. Next, the plaintiff must prove that the driver knew or should have known they were involved in a collision that resulted in property damage, injury, or death. Finally, the victim must establish that the driver intentionally failed to stop or remain at the scene of the accident long enough to provide identifying information to any relevant party and failed to provide “reasonable” assistance to the victims.
Generally, the penalty for a hit and run depends on whether the accident involved property damage, injuries, or death. If the driver caused property damage, they might face misdemeanor charges, resulting in jail time and fines. If the accident resulted in injuries, the driver might face a lengthy prison sentence, probation, or hefty fine. Finally, if the accident resulted in a death, the driver may face even more significant prison time and fines. This is in addition to any civil liability through a personal injury claim.
Recently, a news source reported that a University of Florida student died in a hit and run accident. The car traveling westbound, struck the student while she was crossing the road. Investigators explained that they are still searching for the driver of the vehicle. This type of egregious incident highlights the importance of families recovering damages for their tragic losses. In these cases, families may file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit to hold the culpable driver liable for medical bills, funeral expenses, and other compensatory damages.
Have You Been Involved in a Florida Hit and Run Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Florida hit and run accident, contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon. The knowledgeable attorneys at our office offer clients compassionate representation while ensuring that their rights and remedies are appropriately addressed. We handle claims stemming from vehicle accidents, defective products, premises liability, nursing home abuse and neglect, and workplace accidents. Our attorneys have recovered significant compensation for our clients, including payments for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our office at 877-499-4878, to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.