In Florida, the number of hit and run incidents has increased steadily in the last two years. Already, the Florida Highway Patrol has posted at least 7 ongoing hit and run reports since the start of 2015. This number will likely rise by the end of the year. In 2012, there were a staggering 69,994 hit and run total crashes in the state of Florida.
Given this frightening statistic, Florida has recently toughened penalties for hit-and-run drivers and removed the incentive for drunk drivers to flee the scene of an accident.
What are the Penalties for Hit and Run Drivers in Florida?
Penalties are now more severe than ever for drivers that leave the scene of a crash, especially when the incident involves bodily injury. In 2014 Governor Rick Scott signed The Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act into law; aimed at increasing penalties for drivers found responsible for hit and run crashes.
These increased penalties include:
- A minimum 3-year license suspension, with added educational requirements for the driver for leaving the scene of a crime
- A minimum charge of a 3rd degree felony when the accident results in an injury that is not considered “serious bodily injury,” as defined by Florida statute 316.027
- A charge of a 2nd degree felony if the hit and run results in serious bodily injury
- A charge of a 1st degree felony if the hit and run results in the death of an injured person
- A minimum term of 4 years in prison for the convicted driver if the hit and run results in the death of a person
- A minimum term of 4 years in prison if the convicted driver was found driving under the influence (DUI)
What to Do After a Car Crash
If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, never leave the scene. Always call law enforcement, and remain at the site. Assess the situation and get help for anyone that needs medical attention. While it is easy to become anxious, try to remain calm and wait for the police to arrive. Leaving the scene of the accident will only make matters worse.
Tampa Hit and Run Accident Victim?
Many people think that if they are injured in a hit and run accident, it’s not possible to make a claim for personal injury because the other driver is no-where to be found. This is certainly not the case. Uninsured/underinsured coverage may cover your medical bills and hospital expenses while searching for the guilty party. Hit and run accidents can present an uphill battle, but you do have options. The Hancock Injury Attorneys are here to assist you. Contact us for a free case evaluation.