A Miami Car Accident Attorney Representing Individuals Injured in Hit and Run Accidents
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are common in the state of Florida. In fact, about 25 percent of all accidents are hit-and-run accidents. Thankfully many only result in property damage, but some cause serious injuries or even fatalities.
Although there are many reasons for someone to leave the scene of an accident, none of them are acceptable or valid. Florida recorded 600,185 hit-and-run accidents between 2015 and 2020 alone. Those accidents resulted in the deaths of 1,298 individuals. In 2020, 83 percent, or 212 of the 255 fatalities, occurred during dawn, dusk, or nighttime.
If you or someone you love was recently involved in a hit-and-run car accident, hit-and-run motorcycle accident, or a hit-and-run pedestrian accident, you deserve justice. Part of that justice is obtaining compensation for your injuries. A skilled Miami hit-and-run car accident lawyer can help you pursue monetary recovery.
What is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
The State of Florida defines a “hit-and-run” as leaving the scene of an accident. In such an accident, the driver who doesn’t stay at the scene of a vehicle crash is failing to fulfill their statutory duties when the accident involves property damage, bodily injury, or death. Even if the driver doesn’t believe any damage or injuries have occurred, they must still stop at the accident scene.
Hit-and-Run Accident Penalties
On July 1, 2014, the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act went into effect. Cohen was a 31-year old father of two and a cycling enthusiast when he was fatally hit by a drunk driving who ultimately fled the scene of the accident. While the perpetrator was found, he only served two years in prison—less than what he would have served if he had been charged and convicted of a DUI manslaughter charge. Under this statute, any driver convicted of leaving the scene of a crash that results in death will have a mandatory minimum sentence of four years.
A hit-and-run without injuries or death is a second-degree misdemeanor which can lead to:
- Up to 60 days in prison
- $500 fine
If there are injuries involved, it becomes a second or third-degree felony to leave the scene of the accident. If convicted, drivers will face:
- License revocation for at least three years
- Up to five years in prison
- $5,000 fine
If anyone dies, the hit-and-run driver can be charged with a first-degree felony. If convicted, the penalties are:
- License revocation for at least three years
- Mandatory minimum of four years in prison
- As many as 30 years in prison
- $10,000 fine
Many accident victims don’t understand that criminal charges are entirely separate from civil cases. If the person who hit you and left has been found, not only will they face criminal charges, but they can also face civil penalties. You have the right to file an insurance claim for your damages. If they didn’t have an active insurance policy at the time of the accident, then your Miami hit and run car accident attorney can help you determine what steps to take next. Many hit-and-run drivers fail to obtain the mandatory legal amount of insurance due to cost, which can make recovering damages from them difficult. However, when you work with an experienced attorney, you may still be able to recover the compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries and damages.
What Should You Do if You’re in Hit and Run Crash?
If you find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident anywhere in the state of Florida, stay at the scene. It’s the law. Call the local law enforcement authorities to make a report. Even if you believe you are at fault for the collision, being accountable will save you the possibility of fines, jail time, and having your license revoked. Most importantly, doing your part to notify authorities can possibly save the other driver’s life.
Florida law enforcement officials instruct anyone associated with a motor vehicle incident to:
- Do their best to stay calm
- Call 911
- Obtain as much information from the driver as possible
- Try to sketch the scene to keep track of the vehicle crash locations
- Help the injured if possible
- Call an attorney as soon as you can
These situations can get increasingly complex and are naturally distressing. There can be a variety of variables in each accident. If you have more questions involving a pedestrian accident or an auto accident that involved a hit and run situation, please contact a knowledgeable Miami hit and run car accident attorney today to learn more about your options.
If no one appears injured, you will still want to call the police to have them document the accident with a police report. You should also seek medical attention, even if you do not think you are seriously injured. Finally, be sure to call an attorney as soon as you can to explore your options. It’s important to have legal representation, even if you end up making an insurance claim on your own policy rather than the other driver’s.
Are You the Victim of a Hit and Run Accident? Reach Out to a Miami Hit and Run Car Accident Lawyer Today
Hit and run accidents can be shocking, confusing, and leave you not knowing where to turn. In the unfortunate event that you have been involved in a hit-and-run collision, there is no time to waste. Reach out to an experienced Miami hit-and-run car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Since hit and run accidents can sometimes lead to the victim not being able to recover monetary compensation for their injuries, getting legal assistance as soon as possible is paramount.