What a Driver Is Required To Do After an Accident
When a person is involved in a
car accident, they are required to give certain information to any other party whose
property was damaged, or who was injured. If they cannot give the information
directly to the property owner (they hit a parked car, for example) then
they must report the crash to the police.
The information they must provide includes:
- Vehicle Registration Number
- Driver’s license/permit
They must also provide reasonable assistance to anyone who was injured
in the crash, including making arrangements to have them transported to
a hospital, if necessary. Last, a driver must always wait for police to
arrive to the scene when significant damage has occurred. Even if they
disagree, if the police have been called, they must wait. Leaving before
they arrive could result in hit and run charges.
What Is Considered Hit & Run Under Florida Law?
When Only Property Is Damaged
This part of the statute requires any driver involved in a crash—whether
it occurs on public or private property—to stop and complete the
requirements listed above. A willful failure to follow these steps can
result in a third degree felony charge. This could land an offender in
prison for up to five years, and result in $5000 in fines, to say nothing
of the potential legal fees. The person’s driver’s license
will be revoked for at least three years. The driver can also be held
responsible for financial costs related to the property damage.
When Another Party Is Seriously Injured
If a driver is involved in a crash that causes serious bodily injury to
another person, they must stay at the scene of the crash until they have
fulfilled the above requirements. If they willfully fail to comply with
these requirements, they may be convicted of a second degree felony. The
penalties for a second degree felony hit and run charge include a maximum
prison sentence of 15 years, a $10,000 fine, and a minimum driver’s
license suspension of 3 years.
When Another Party Dies
If a person flees the scene of a fatal accident, the consequences are extremely
severe. They can be charged with a first degree felony, one of the most
serious crimes under Florida state law. In addition to a three year (or
more) suspension of their driver’s license, this charge carries
a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of as much as $10,000.
If a person has prior convictions for certain traffic-related crimes,
including hit and run or DUI, they will be immediately arrested and held
in custody until they stand before the court for admittance to bail.
Have you been injured by a hit and run driver? Call our personal injury
firm at (561) 600-5606 for a
free initial consultation.