Hit and Runs Increase Risk For Florida Drivers

Hit and Runs Increase Risk For Florida Drivers

Even with stiff penalties for leaving the scene of an accident, Florida hit and run car accidents continue at a steady rate. Regardless of the legal ramifications of leaving the scene of a car crash, hit and run drivers show a callous disregard for the lives and properties of others.

While many hit and run drivers probably flee because of fear or shock, their actions can have devastating effects. When a driver neglects their responsibilities after an accident and chooses to flee the scene, they fail to get medical assistance or provide help to those they’ve injured. This could intensify injuries and even lead to death.

Statistics for Hit & Runs

Florida saw more than 92,000 hit and run accidents in 2015. Thankfully, many of those accidents involved only property such as other vehicles. Unfortunately, over 19,000 people were injured because of hit and run drivers and 186 lives were cut short. More than half of these fatalities were pedestrians.

Of the 374,031 car crashes in Florida, 9,076 involved pedestrians. Almost 25% of these accidents result in a driver making the decision to flee the scene of the accident, leaving an injured pedestrian helpless. Sometimes a pedestrian who has only suffered from minor injuries is able to call for medical help. Other times, these abandoned victims are left at the mercy of other motorists.

While police continue to work to close active hit and run cases and locate fleeing drivers, victims of those who have been captured have recourse within both the criminal and civil court system. Stiff penalties for hit and run drivers in the criminal justice system and the ability to sue for compensation under personal injury law helps victims piece their lives back together. For the families of those killed by hit and run drivers, these trials can provide closure.

Penalties for Hit & Runs

Driving is a privilege that Florida takes seriously. For those individuals who are irresponsible and choose to flee the scene of an accident instead of offering help to those they may have harmed, Florida law calls for stiff penalties.

If a hit and run driver damages an inhabited car or hits property near a person, they will be charged with a 2nd degree misdemeanor. In addition, victims may be able to sue to cover property damage not covered by insurance.

If a hit and run driver harms a person, they will be charged with a felony and lose their license for at least three years. The severity of the recommended prison term will vary with the severity of the injury.

A hit and run driver who causes a fatality will be charged with a first degree felony that carries a minimum 4-year prison sentence.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles asks that anyone with information on a hit and run call Crime Stoppers. This allows for anonymous reporting and has been a useful tool in bringing reckless drivers to justice.

Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers Help Victims of Hit & Runs

If you have injuries that resulted from or were made worse because of another driver’s choice to leave the scene of an accident, consulting with a Tampa personal injury lawyer can help you decide how to proceed.

A hit and run accident can leave you with life-threatening injuries. In addition, it can impart unnecessary emotional pain and suffering. You don’t have to face your journey alone. A Tampa personal injury lawyer can help you recover from your car accident by fighting for your right to compensation.

Rather than facing a mountain of medical bills and the possibility or necessity of future medical care, you can work towards a resolution with a true partner. Call a Tampa personal injury lawyer today to get started on your claim.