Florida law has increased penalties for hit and run

On behalf of Eisenmenger, Robinson & Peters, P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Saturday, January 24, 2015.

For pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and drivers in Brevard County, a car accident is bad enough without the other driver deciding that the person doesn’t feel it is required to stay at the scene. Hit-and-run accidents have been a significant problem in the state for a long time and there was little reason for drivers to wait at the scene given the light penalties they faced if they didn’t.

Florida previously allowed drivers to get off lightly for hit and run. Given the number of crashes in the state in recent years, it’s no surprise that drivers didn’t feel compelled to wait without being harshly punished.

In 2013, there were 140 accidents involving hit-and-run in Lee and Collier Counties alone. In 2012, that number was at 175. In mid-2014, the penalties were increased substantially to take drivers to task for hit and run. Drivers who flee the scene of an accident in which there are injuries will have their driver’s license suspended for three years. If there is a death, they will have a four year prison sentence.

There is also a specific category for people who are walking, riding a bicycle or on a motorcycle. While the new laws are designed to force people to stay at the scene after a car accident, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a reduction in the number of crashes and those who suffer a serious injury.

When there is a crash and the driver leaves the scene, the law enforcement running the accident investigation will make certain to do everything in its power to find the driver. Those who are hurt in a hit-and-run crash might not even be aware of this law. However, the pursuit of those responsible for a hit-and-run will benefit the injured party or the family left behind after a fatality as they will be better prepared to try to be compensated with help from a legal professional experienced in state law when it comes to car accidents and hit and run.

Source: News-Press.com, “Hit-and-run drivers can no longer slide,” Janine Zeitlin, June 28, 2014