The city of Orlando is one of the top four U.S. cities with the most pedestrian hit and run accidents. Authorities have blamed urban expansion for the increase in hit and run accidents in Florida because there is little space on the roads for pedestrians and cyclists. Florida law prohibits drivers from leaving the scene of an accident for any reason. Often hit and run accidents are minor car incidents with little damage. But in many cases such as pedestrian hit and run accidents, victims are very badly hurt and often die. No matter how minor or major an accident do not flee the scene or you could be setting yourself up for major consequences.
Your Responsibilities in An Accident
According to Florida Law you have a “Duty to Give Information and Render Aid” if you are involved in an accident. This means you are required to stop and exchange information. If you are in an accident with an automobile that is unattended you are required to try and locate the owner of the car. If you are unable to locate the owner of the car leave your information where the owner can find it. If you are in an accident and another person is injured you are required to give aid to that person, call 911, and stay at the scene of the accident.
The need to curtail the rising cases of hit and run accidents has jolted Florida authorities into enacting legal barriers. In the case of a hit and run accident where only property damage is involved the perpetrator could face a second degree misdemeanor, up to 60 days in jail, and a $500 fine.
Perpetrators of hit and run crimes that involve personal injury can face the full wrath of the law including stiff fines, imprisonment, and loss of driver’s license. This applies to instances where the drivers flee from an accident scene while a victim is injured. In this case, such perpetrators could face a third degree felony, up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If a driver flees the accident scene and a victim dies as a result of the accident the driver could face a second degree felony, up to 15 years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000.
Apart from fines and sentencing, perpetrators of hit and run accidents must also compensate the victim or their families for any injuries. This is where personal injury claims come into play. A qualified Orlando criminal lawyer will be able to assist you in your case and help defend your charges.
Hit and run crimes can be very serious with harsh penalties attached depending on the circumstances of the accident. Persons who are accused of hit and run crimes should hire criminal defense attorneys who have experience in hit and run cases. An attorney can review your case and aid in your defense. Be sure to contact an experienced criminal lawyer Orlando based law firm immediately if you are accused of a hit and run accident. It could mean the difference between your freedom or going to prison.
Katie Hewatt is a legal researcher and contributing writer for Orlando Law Firm Katz & Phillips, who have successfully defended clients against hit and run accidents. The attorneys at Katz & Phillips will sort through each factor in your case and will devise your best plan of defense.