Drivers do not stop after a car accident and often flee the scene of impact. They think that they can avoid any consequences by driving away. However, it is advised to stop your vehicle after a Florida car accident, exchange information at the place of collision, and promptly call the police.
According to WJHG News, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) reported their numbers for hit and run cases in Florida for 2017. FHP claim that they worked 24,000 cases out of a total of 98,000 hit and run crashes in the Sunshine state. Bay County only witnessed two deaths and reported more than 1,100 cases in 2017. The police personnel say that hit and run cases remain steady at around 25 percent of all crashes, which means that the number of individuals fleeing the scene is not getting any better.
If your head is constantly surrounded by questions such as; what will happen if a driver flees the scene of the incident? Can they be charged in court? Everything you need to know about the aftermath of a Florida car accident is discussed below:
What is the Charge for Fleeing the Scene of Florida Car Accident?
Florida law 316.061 covers the charge for leaving the scene of the incident. It is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. Penalties may include jail time and a fine. The charge becomes a felony offense when the accident leads to a serious injury or death.
What Is Meant by Leaving the Scene of an Accident?
It means when a driver immediately flees the scene and does not stop after a car accident. The law states that each driver should remain at the scene of the incident and share their license and vehicle information with the other driver. They must arrange for medical services in cases where a driver or third person is injured and immediately call the police. Leaving the scene of the accident in Florida is described as the person who does not take such measures.
Requirements After a Florida Car Accident:
When you are involved in a Florida car accident, you are required by law to take the following steps:
- Immediately stop your vehicle and move it to a place where it does not cause a traffic jam on the road
- Show your valid driver’s license to the police, any injured persons, the owner of the damaged property, if any, and the driver of the other vehicle
- Tell them your name, residential address, and contact information
- Call the cops if they are not already there
- Call for medics if anyone is injured at the site
If the driver of the vehicle is too wounded to call the police or exchange information, the next adult present in the vehicle must follow the required steps to make the report. The responsibility is shifted to the next adult occupant present in the vehicle as per Florida law. This happens when it is physically impractical for the driver to call the police and report the incident.
How Much Jail Time Do You Get for Leaving the Accident Scene?
This depends upon the judge that rules your sentence and the circumstances of your case. You can expect several months or even years of prison time if the accident leads to death. You may or may not see jail time if someone is not severely hurt. Factors such as remorse, your criminal history, and harm to the victim may add up and play a vital role during the process of your sentencing.
Is Leaving the Scene of the Accident Considered a Felony in Florida?
Under certain scenarios, fleeing the accident scene can be a felony. The offense can be a felony when someone suffers death or injury because of it. Depending on the gravity of the victim’s injuries, the maximum possible jail time can vary between 5, 15, or 30 years. Leaving the site of impact is not deemed to be a felony in cases when nobody is injured.
Fleeing the Scene of the Accident and Florida Car Accident Lawsuit:
You might question the repercussions that an individual might be facing in cases where they leave the collision site. Accident victims in Florida are entitled to file a claim against reckless drivers if they sustain severe permanent injuries after the accident. When a driver decides to flee the scene, it shifts the entire course towards criminal proceedings instead of a civil lawsuit.
Reach Out to Our Professional Attorneys Right Away:
If you or your loved ones are the victims of a Florida car accident, contact our competent lawyers today and discuss your best legal recourse.