Hit and run crashes are disturbingly common—in the U.S., a hit and run occurs roughly every 43 seconds according to data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Of course, some hit and run accidents are victimless crimes, like a small parking lot scrape during a botched parking job, for instance. Yet, hit and runs can be deadly as well.
Florida hit and runs are especially dangerous and result in many fatalities every year, including claiming the life of an up-and-coming Florida MMA fighter only a few years ago. In 2018, Florida was among the top 3 states with the highest per capita rates of fatal hit and run crashes.
According to state law, the legal consequences for committing a hit and run accident varies depending on whether mere property damage occurred, or someone was injured or killed. Florida auto accident attorney Wes Pittman explains what you need to prove a hit and run accident occurred and how offenders are punished.
Florida hit and run laws were updated in 2014. According to Florida Motor Vehicle Statute 316.061, drivers have a duty to remain at the scene of an accident and do what they can to help. Motorists who don’t follow this rule are subjected to punishments depending on the severity of the damage they caused.
To prove that someone indeed committed a hit and run accident and should be punished, the following must be proven with evidence:
There are three types of legal penalties for drivers who cause hit and run accidents in Florida, depending on the amount of damage they caused.
The penalties are as follows:
In addition to the hit and run driver being sentenced to pay a fine and/or jail time for their crime, they may also be held liable for the injured parties’ medical and repair bills. In order to receive compensatory damages, however, you will have to file a personal injury claim. Occasionally, punitive damages are available as well.
With the help of a lawyer, you can ensure that you will receive the maximum compensation available. If you would like to file a personal injury claim against a hit and run driver, or you have questions about what to do following a hit and run, contact a personal injury lawyer.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run or other auto accident, reach out to our dedicated Florida car accident lawyers today. You can call us at (850) 764-0383 or write to us online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.