Hit and run accidents are becoming all too common in Florida. Suffering an injury or losing a loved one in an automobile crash is never easy. But a devastating situation is made all the worse when the driver who caused the accident flees the scene. Unfortunately, that very scenario is all too common here in the Sunshine State, accounting for a quarter of all reported crashes. Statistics from the Florida Highway Patrol show that hit-and-run accidents are increasing in frequency at an alarming rate:
- 80,000 hit-and-run accidents occurred in Florida in 2014 – a seven-percent increase from 2013.
- Fatal hit-and-run crashes rose 23 percent from 2013 to 2014.
- Nearly half of victims killed in hit-and-runs last year were pedestrians – a 17-percent jump from the prior year.
At-fault drivers often leave the scenes of accidents they cause, believing that they can allude punishment. But those same culprits increasingly are busted via modern road surveillance technology as well as age-old mistakes like heading straight to the auto body repair shops in an effort to quickly do away with evidence. Plus, Florida Governor Rick Scott last year signed into law stiffer penalties for leaving an accident scene.
Today, leaving the scene of an accident that causes serious bodily harm is a second-degree felony (up the prior third-degree designation) requiring a mandatory minimum four-year for any driver convicted of leaving the scene of a fatal crash. New legislation also imposes a minimum three-year driver license revocation and driver education requirements for leaving the scene of a crash. If you suffer an injury or loss in a hit-and-run accident, don’t despair. Investigative techniques and resources are constantly improving, allowing for the capture and conviction of those who leave accident scenes. Plus if you carry uninsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, your insurer should cover a portion of your crash-related costs.
Still, your best bet for securing fair compensation is to have an experienced auto accident attorney representing you. Call Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111 to discuss your case today.