Florida Hit-and-Run Accidents Plague the State’s Roads

A driver with a suspended license was recently involved in multiple hit-and-run accidents in Miami on the same day in a microcosm of a larger problem on Florida’s roads.  The driver was operating his vehicle despite the fact that he had a suspended license, according to a news report from Miami’s ABC news affiliate.  The scene of his last hit and run was near the Dadeland Mall in Kendall, where he plowed into a bus stop and injured two people waiting for the bus, sending both to the hospital.  However, it was quite an eventful day for the driver, who also was involved in two other hit-and-run accidents prior to his third accident outside the Dadeland Mall. He was finally apprehended by police after he jumped out of the car and attempted to flee the scene on foot after the last of his three accidents.  According to a CBS Miami story on the suspect’s first court appearance, the suspect will be facing three felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident where there were injuries and additional charges to boot.  The victims of the third accident, along with one victim from one of the earlier accidents, were taken to Jackson South Medical Center for treatment for their injuries.  This incident is simply another example of the scourge that hit-and-run accidents have become on Florida roads, a trend that continues despite efforts by state traffic safety officials, legislators and law enforcement personnel to combat the problem.  However, if you have been injured by a hit-and-run incident in Florida, know that not only is the driver going to face criminal charge as a result of his or her actions, but he or she also will be facing felony charges and prison time for fleeing the scene of an accident where someone was injured.  You also have rights under Florida law to seek compensation from that driver for your injuries suffered in an accident that driver may have caused.

 Hit-and-Run Accidents in Florida: A Major Problem in the Sunshine State

Despite a number of educational and other measures taken by the state, including a public education campaign in recent years by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles called “Stay at The Scene,” the rate of hit-and-run accidents in Florida over the last thirty years has stayed roughly consistent at 25 percent of all accidents.  The statistics for hit-and-run crashes in Florida over the past three years show that hundreds of thousands of hit-and-run accidents occur in the Sunshine State every year, resulting in hundreds of fatalities.

The death of Aaron Cohen, a 31-year-old father of two young children who was killed by a drunk driver in central Florida in 2012 who then fled the scene of the accident and only received two years in prison for his role in Cohen’s death, led to an uproar that caused legislation to be passed which tightened the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident in which someone was injured or killed or property damage occurred.  This incident led to the passage by the Florida Legislature in 2014 of the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, which increased the penalties for drivers who flee the scene of an accident where there have been fatalities to a mandatory minimum of four years in prison.  (This means the driver can be sentenced to more than four years in prison, but the absolute minimum a judge is permitted to impose is four years in prison for leaving the scene of an accident where there have been fatalities).

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Schwed, Adams & McGinley if You Were Injured in a Hit-and-Run Accident

 Although fleeing the scene of an accident is a criminal offense in Florida, drivers nevertheless often will panic and flee the scene.  The personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley have over 150 years of combined legal experience representing those who have been injured in a variety of motor vehicle and truck accidents, including hit-and-run accidents where the driver at fault fled the scene of the accident.  Therefore, if you or a loved one was a pedestrian or motorist injured by someone who then fled the scene of an accident in Florida, please call us today for a free consultation at (877) 694-6079 or email us at contact@schwedlawfirm.com.