Seeking Compensation after a Hit-and-Run Accident
Almost one-quarter of all car crashes in Florida involve a hit-and-run, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. In fact, hit-and-run accidents are on the rise across the country, with Florida among the top-three worst states for hit-and-runs, according to a AAA study.
Four years ago, Florida increased the penalties for hit-and-run accidents that result in a fatality. Now the mandatory minimum is four years in prison, with a 30-year maximum and $10,000 fine. The driver will also lose his or her license for at least three years.
There are also penalties for hit-and-runs that result in personal injuries or property damage:
- A driver involved in a hit-and-run that results in personal injuries may be sentenced up to five years in prison, pay a $5,000 fine, and lose his or her license for at least five years.
- A driver involved in a hit-and-run that results in property damage may spend up to 60 days in jail and pay a $500 fine.
But hit-and-run drivers may also be liable for personal injury damages, whether or not they are convicted (or even charged) with a crime. In Florida, criminal charges are not a prerequisite to filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Recent Hit-and-Run Accidents
A 60-year-old Sweetwater man recently died when he was rear-ended while riding his scooter home from work. Surveillance videos show what happened. The driver who struck Jesus Cruz backed up and drove away. If caught, Cruz could face both criminal charges and a wrongful death lawsuit.
A female pedestrian walking along the bike lane on Ocean Drive in Deerfield Beach recently died after a pickup truck veered off the road and struck her. (The 47-year-old was walking with her daughter at the time.) The pickup driver left the scene of the accident but was arrested early the following morning when police spotted a truck that matched the description of the vehicle. The driver could face both criminal and civil charges, if the family decides to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
A 26-year-old woman died in December 2017 when a drunk driver struck her in a Miami Lakes crosswalk. The woman was crossing Fairway Drive early in the morning when a 65-year-old man ran into her. The woman flew into the air and landed on a nearby curb while the man fled the scene.
The woman’s parents recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the man, claiming that he was driving recklessly and should have yielded the crosswalk. He also should have stayed at the scene of the accident. They are seeking $15,000 in damages for medical and funeral expenses, as well as pain and suffering.
Contact Us Today
Contact a Miami personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you or a loved one is injured or killed in a hit-and-run accident. We will investigate your case and help recover the compensation that you deserve.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.