Hit-and-Run Accidents — A Growing South Florida Problem

The state of Florida has seen an alarming increase in the number of hit-and-run accidents in the last 2 years. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), officials with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) are teaming up with the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Police Chiefs and the Florida Sheriffs Association to help to fight this problem.

The main focus of this campaign is to help to educate Florida drivers about their responsibilities when they’re involved in an accident. Officials are also working to let these individuals know about the consequences they could face if they leave the scene of an accident.

Our Boca Raton personal injury lawyers understand that there were about 70,000 hit-and-run accidents in the Sunshine State last year. Drivers involved in these kinds of accidents are irresponsible and careless and leave victims with no helping hand. Unfortunately, many of these victims are pedestrians and bicyclists. These are some of the most vulnerable travelers out there, and hit-and-run drivers are leaving them without a fighting chance. When a driver is involved in an accident and leaves the scene, there’s oftentimes no one to help with medical costs and other necessary compensation. In many cases, a victim must seek recovery from his or her own insurance carrier.

“We hope the education awareness campaign and our partnerships…will help us meet our mission goals of traffic safety,” said FHP Director, Col. David Brierton.

For an entire week, officials with the FHP will be holding press conferences around the state to help shed some light on this issue of growing importance.

Hit-and-Run Numbers:

-There were close to 170 individuals killed in hit-and-run accidents in Florida in 2012. This is a number that has increased in previous years.

-In 2012, there were 69,994 hit-and-run accidents in the state of Florida.

-Three out of every 5 hit-and-run deaths in 2012 were pedestrians who were killed in a hit-and-run accident.

According to Florida Law:

-Following an accident, a drive is required to stop and stay at the scene. Drivers are required to exchange information and render reasonable assistance to anyone who has been injured in the accident.

-If you leave the scene of an accident involving death, you’re looking at a first-degree felony with a possible sentence of 30 years behind bars and fines of $10,000.

-If you leave the scene of an accident involving injuries, you’re looking at a third-degree felony with a possible sentence of 5 years behind bars and fine of $5,000.

-If you leave the scene of an accident where there was only property damage, you’re looking at a second-degree misdemeanor with a possible sentence of 60 days behind bars and a fines of $500.

If you’re involved in an accident, you should stop, call law enforcement, get information from involved parties and witnesses, sketch the scene and help the injured. Don’t run out on your Florida family. Do the right thing.