Residents of Florida may benefit from learning more about the trends concerning hit and run crashes in the state, as described by the Florida Highway Patrol. Authorities claim that the rate of these incidents has increased in the past two years. During 2014, more 80,000 hit and run incidents occurred in Florida, representing a 7 percent increase from the previous year. The number of fatalities caused by these offenses increased by 23 percent between 2013 and 2014.
More than 45 Florida counties realized an increase in 2014 in the number of hit and run incidents from the previous year. Approximately 50 percent of the hit and run fatalities during 2014 involved pedestrians, increasing by around 17 percent from the previous year. The Florida Highway Patrol claims that 25 percent of all traffic accidents are classified as hit and run incidents. Beginning in July 2014, a new state law increased the penalties for people convicted of committing hit and run offenses.
People who are convicted of leaving scene of a crash that results in bodily injury may be charged with a second-degree felony. At minimum, these drivers may have their license suspended for three years and be required to participate in a driver education course for fleeing the scene. People convicted of DUI and leaving the scene of a crash resulting in someone's death may face a minimum sentence of two to four years behind bars.
Relatives of victims killed in hit and run accidents may benefit from consulting with a lawyer about filing a wrongful death claim. Legal counsel may be able to investigate the incident and help determine which parties can be found liable for the resulting injuries. Damages can include funeral and burial costs, medical expenses and compensation for the loss of companionship caused by the untimely death.
Source: WCTV, "Increase in Number of Fatal Hit and Run Crashes in Florida", Florida Highway Patrol, Feb. 16, 2015