Updated: Mar 8
As legal experts, we understand the complexity and seriousness of hit-and-run accidents. In the state of Florida, proving and penalizing these accidents involves navigating a web of legal procedures and requirements.
Did you know hit-and-run accidents account for about 25% of all accidents i Florida? Although theses types of accidents are illegal, that percentage of accidents remains extremely high. Therefore, it is important to keep certain things in mind to ensure you are protected from these situations. Our accident attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have relating to hit-and-run accidents and what you should do following one.
Defining a Hit and Run Accident
In order to convict a hit-and-run accident, an individual must first understand what the term means. The Florida statute defines a hit-and-run accident as the failure of a driver to remain at the site of a car accident and fulfill other statutory duties when the crash involves death, bodily injury, or property damage.
Figuring out what to do in a case like this is very difficult, that is why you may want to call a personal injury attorney for assistance with your case. They know how frustrating and difficult these situations are and will walk you through the entire process.
How do you prove liability in a hit-and-run case?
In order to prove a hit-and-run case, there are certain pieces of evidence you will need. Here are a few steps you should take to ensure you have everything you need to file a claim.
Step 1: Report the Accident
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, the first thing you need to do is report it to the police. You can do this by calling 911 or visiting the nearest police station. Reporting the accident to the police is crucial in establishing the fact that the accident occurred and that the other driver fled the scene.
Step 2: Gather Evidence
To prove a hit-and-run accident, you need to gather as much evidence as possible. This includes taking pictures of the accident scene, noting down the license plate number of the other vehicle (if you can), and getting the contact details of any witnesses. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be in court.
Step 3: Contact an Attorney
It is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible. They can help you gather evidence, build a strong case, and represent you in court, if needed.
These are just some steps to take to ensure you have all of your bases covered, but if you want to take things one step further to protect yourself, buy a dashboard camera. Although dashboard camera's may seem like a hassle or somewhat useless, in the case of a hit-and-run, they actually can have information that may later be able to use as evidence.
What are the penalties for committing a Hit-and-Run Accident in Florida?
Criminal Penalties: Hit-and-run accidents in Florida are classified as a criminal offense. If you are found guilty of committing a hit-and-run accident, you can face imprisonment, fines, and other criminal penalties.
Civil Penalties: In addition to criminal penalties, hit-and-run accidents can also result in civil penalties. You can be held liable for damages caused to the victim, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the victim dies as a result of the accident, you can be charged with vehicular homicide.
License Suspension: If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in Florida, your driver's license can be suspended for a minimum of three years. If you cause serious injury or death to the victim, your license can be revoked permanently.
Florida Laws for Hit & Runs
Florida Law's regarding hit-and-run accidents are as follows:
Florida Statutes § 316.0611 - Property damage related statute
Florida Statutes § 316.0272 - Injury and death
Florida Statutes § 316.0623 - Information exchange rules and rendering aid
The Penalties of a Hit and Run
The severity of this crime is dependent on the damages caused in the hit-and-run accident. It can range anywhere from a $500 to $10,000 fine and result in anywhere between 60 days to 30 years in prison.
If you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident, call a personal injury attorney, such as those at Demesmin and Dover Law Firm. Call 866-954-MORE (6673) today for your free consultation.