The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) explains the potential penalties for a hit and run in Florida.
They are as follows:
- If a hit and run motorist causes property damage, then they may face a second-degree misdemeanor charge, which may result in a $500 fine and up to 60 days in prison.
- If a hit and run motorist causes any injuries, they may face a second or third-degree felony charge, which may result in a $5,000 fine, up to five years in prison, and the revocation of their license for at least three years.
- In the event of an accident fatality, a motorist may face a first-degree felony charge, up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and the revocation of their license for at least three years.
You may also hold a hit and run driver accountable by filing a lawsuit against them in civil court.
You Can Seek Compensation Through Civil Court
Florida Statute §316.061 makes it clear that motorists who are involved in an accident must remain at the scene of the collision. While at the accident scene, they will likely need to share information with law enforcement officials, including their name, contact information, license plate number, and driver’s license information.
Motorists who choose to flee the scene of an accident may be found guilty of criminal charges. In addition to any criminal charges that the individual faces, they could also face consequences in civil court as well. You may choose to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver if the involved insurance policies do not fully cover the cost of your expenses.
The at-fault party may be ordered to compensate you for your accident-related losses, which may include:
- Your medical expenses. This can include the cost of emergency transportation from the accident scene, hospitalization, medications, surgical procedures, and follow-up appointments.
- Any lost income. You may be able to recover payment for lost employment opportunities, bonuses, income, and benefits.
- Your pain and suffering. You may be able to compel the at-fault driver to compensate you for the cost of your physical pain and emotional suffering.
- The cost of living with a disability. If your physical injuries are expected to result in a permanent or long-term disability, you may be able to recover compensation for the daily challenge of living with an impairment.
- Property damage costs. If your vehicle was totaled or damaged in the collision, and your auto insurance policy does not provide adequate coverage, you may be able to demand compensation for these expenses.
Your lawyer will seek financial recovery for these and other expenses.
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A Hit and Run Motorist May Be Guilty of Negligence
When you bring a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, there may be multiple standards of liability to consider. The American Bar Association (ABA) notes that two of those standards are negligence and intentional wrongdoing; a hit and run driver could be found guilty of both.
A motorist may be guilty of negligence if they did not intend to cause harm to you or a loved one, but did anyway. Therefore, a hit and run motorist may have been negligent in initially causing your collision. By fleeing the scene of your accident, the motorist may then have engaged in intentional wrongdoing.
Your lawyer may aim to prove that the hit and run motorist involved in your accident owes you compensation based on these standards of liability. Every hit and run accident in Florida is unique. Your lawyer will assess the facts of your accident to determine precisely how one or more parties could be liable for your losses.
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A Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Will Fight for Fair Compensation
Any lawyer that you hire will seek the best possible outcome for you or a loved one. Depending on numerous factors, including whether the hit and run motorist was caught, you may seek a positive outcome through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Depending on the course of action you choose, you may be able to receive compensation for your losses.
To promote your case’s outcome, your lawyer may:
- Gather and organize relevant evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Hire experts to give supporting testimony
- File all necessary paperwork
- Calculate the compensation you are owed
- Represent you in court
- Negotiate a settlement
Your lawyer will defend your rights and seek the amount of compensation that you should be entitled to because of a hit and run accident.
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Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today at (855) 529-0269 for a free consultation. We can also explain the penalty for a hit and run in Florida.
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