A recent news story regarding a Miami hit and run accident details a scenario that is becoming more and more common. In this story, two drivers were involved in an accident, and one of the drivers left the accident scene on foot without attempting to assist the other party, who was critically injured. Leaving the scene of an accident is always the worst thing a driver can do for both him or herself as well as the other party. Many times a driver may leave the scene of an accident out of fear of the unknown, even when there is nothing to fear. However, a far better resolution in the event of an accident would be to stay – and this is what the law requires drivers to do, too. Effective July 1, 2014, Title XXIII, Section 316.027 of the Florida Motor Vehicle Law requires the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash that results in serious bodily injury to a person to immediately stop the vehicle and remain at the scene of the crash. This section of the law also outlines the penalties that may be imposed upon a driver who does not obey this law. Penalties are directly correlated to the level of injury suffered by the party left unassisted at the accident scene as well as whether or not alcohol is ultimately determined to have been a factor in the accident. In certain cases, mandatory minimum sentences would be imposed.
Instances Of Hit And Run Accidents Continue To Increase
Despite the change in the law and increased penalties for leaving the scene of an accident, hit and run crashes continue to increase in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. A few facts provided by this department that highlight the increases include:
- Hit and run crashes involving fatalities increased 23 percent from 2013 to 2014.
- The number of hit and run crashes statewide has increased 7 percent from 2013 to 2014.
- Nearly half of the hit and run fatalities in 2014 were pedestrians, a 17 percent increase from 2013.
- 25 percent of all crashes are hit and run crashes.
Penalties For Leaving The Scene Of An Accident
In addition to the criminal or administrative penalties imposed upon a driver who leaves the site of an auto accident, usually a civil suit is filed by the injured party for monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. An injured party may also seek compensation for pain and suffering resulting from the accident.
Help Is Available If You Have Been Victim Of An Auto Accident
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you need to know your rights. It is often confusing to try to determine what you need to do and when you need to do it. The law requires parties to follow specific procedures within specific timelines, and failure to follow these rules could ultimately make a difference in your ability to win your case. A qualified legal professional can help you understand the law and know how to navigate the legal system that can sometimes seem overwhelming. Contact a legal professional today to speak with an auto accident attorney in Miami who is ready to help you get the relief you are entitled to receive.