People in Florida who have been in minor fender-benders or those who have thought that an accident could happen to them someday, understand the basics of how to proceed. They pull over to a safe place, make sure no one is hurt, and then exchange insurance information and call the police, if necessary.
However, what happens if a driver causes an accident and instead of staying on the scene, just takes off? While a hit-and-run accident may be inconvenient when there is only property damage, should a person be injured or killed in a hit-and-run accident, it is more important than ever to find the responsible party and hold them accountable.
Per Florida Statutes, if a driver causes a car accident that injures another person, they must immediately stop driving and stay at the accident scene. The failure to do so is a third-degree felony. Moreover, if the victim’s injuries are serious and the driver flees the scene of the crash, the crime becomes a second-degree felony. Finally, if a driver causes a fatal hit-and-run accident, it will be considered a first-degree felony.
Criminal charges aside, it is important to keep in mind that while it may seem hopeless, it is possible to find hit-and-run drivers and hold them accountable through a lawsuit. A thorough investigation of the accident scene, witness accounts and police reports can help a person find the hit-and-run driver. Once that driver is found, whether or not they are criminally charged, the accident victim may still be able to pursue a lawsuit to seek compensation for the damages they suffered.