According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the number of fatal hit and run traffic collisions in the state appears to be increase. Between 2011 and 2012, the number of hit and runs across the state increased 4000. In 2012, there were 70 000 such accidents, leading to 168 fatalities.
The Highway Patrol is launching a “Hit and Run: Bad 2 Worse” campaign in Florida to make drivers aware of the risks of hit and run accidents. Authorities want to get the message across: when you leave the scene of a car accident in Miami or any other community you face serious consequences. Currently, drivers who leave the scene of an accident without stopping to help others face up to $10 000 in fines and up to 30 years in jail if the accident is a fatal one.
According to authorities, there are four main reasons why at-fault drivers leave the scene of a traffic accident in Miami and other communities:
1) The at-fault driver is wanted by police or has a record. In many hit and run accidents in Miami and South Florida, the at-fault driver leaves because he or she has a criminal record, is driving a stolen car, or is otherwise wanted by police. In these cases, the driver hopes that if the authorities cannot find them, they will not be charged for the accident and for any other crimes.
2) The driver has no insurance. There are many uninsured and under-insured drivers in Florida and when one of these drivers causes an accident, they flee the scene of the collision because they fear the costs of having to pay for the accident. In some cases, the drivers may not even be licensed to drive.
3) The driver panics. Being in an accident is frightening and some drivers may simply panic, unsure what to do after a car accident in Miami or South Florida. While it is understandable that a car collision can lead to panic, Florida law is very clear: failing to stop and offer assistance as well as exchange information after a car accident is a crime.
4) The driver is driving under the influence. Drunk driving accidents in Miami and South Florida occur often. In many cases, a driver who is driving under the influence does not want a DUI charge and will leave the scene of an accident. Even if the authorities find the person eventually, it will be harder to prove that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
If you have been in a hit and run accident in Miami or any South Florida city, it is natural to be upset and angry. If you need answers, contact the Flaxman Law Group legal team for assistance. Even if the at-fault driver has not been found by authorities, it may be possible to pursue compensation for your injuries. You can also negotiate with your insurance company for a fairer claim amount. To find out more, arrange a free, no obligation consultation with the Flaxman Law Group.