This February is Hit and Run Accident Awareness month and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is taking the time to recognize the seriousness of these types of accidents by reminding drivers to always stay at the scene if involved in an accident.
In 2016 alone, there were nearly 100,000 hit and run accidents reported according to the DHSMV. Almost 16,000 of those hit and run accidents resulted in drivers being charged with a violation. Additionally, drivers between the ages of 18-28 were involved in one third of those accidents with 70 percent of those drivers being male. The DHSMV is working towards lowering these numbers through its hit and run awareness campaign.
Unfortunately, reckless drivers can cause accidents that leave others with property damage and/or bodily harm. It is important to stay at the scene of the accident in order to assist anyone who is injured and to exchange pertinent information that may be used by insurance companies when submitting a claim for compensation for injuries or damage. However, it’s important to note that if the driver who caused the accident flees the scene, there are consequences for failing to stay.
Hit and Run Accident Penalties
Some penalties for leaving the scene of an accident have increased since July of 2014 with the enactment of the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, which instituted a mandatory penalty of four years in prison for a driver convicted of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a fatality. Even if the incident resulted in minor property damage, a driver convicted of leaving the scene can be sentenced to up to 60 days in prison and also receive a fine.
If you are the victim of a car accident resulting in serious property damage or bodily harm, whether as a pedestrian, on a bike, or as a driver of a car or motorcycle, it’s important to also consult with a lawyer who specializes in assisting victims of car accidents. Your lawyer may be able to help you obtain proper compensation proportional to the actual cost of your injuries, despite what the amount of the settlement from an insurance company may be.
Stay at the Scene – It Could Save a Life. (2017, February 01). Retrieved February 22, 2017, from https://www.flhsmv.gov/2017/02/01/stay-scene-save-life/
STAY AT THE SCENE. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2017, from https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/hitrun/