With so many motorists on Florida interstates and highways, accidents are bound to occur. Car crashes and collisions can happen to the best of drivers, and when an accident occurs we are not always sure how to respond. There are rules and responsibilities that every driver in the state is obligated to follow, and these also govern how to behave in the event of a car accident. Unfortunately, not all drivers play by the rules, and hit and run accidents have been an increasing problem for Floridians, and can result in serious, potentially life threatening injuries. It is important to not only be aware of your legal duty in the event of a car crash or collision, but also to know what to do in the event you are involved in an accident with a hit and run driver.
Florida Hit and Run Laws
According to a 2015 report on hit and run crashes in the Insurance Journal, Florida had over 80,000 hit and run accidents in 2014, and these types of accidents continue to increase at an alarming rate. In response, state laws have gotten tougher in dealing with hit and run drivers. Under Section 316 of the Florida State Statutes, all drivers have the legal duty not only to stop at the scene of an accident, but also to provide information to other drivers and law enforcement, as well as to render aid to anyone hurt or injured as the result of an accident. Leaving the scene of an accident without stopping or providing information could result in felony charges being brought against you, carrying the possibility of heavy fines, mandatory jail time, and the loss of your driver’s license.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), leaving the scene of an accident only makes a bad situation worse, particularly for drivers who suffer damages and injuries as the result of hit and run drivers. The FLHSMV advises to remember to follow the acronym CRASH if you are involved in an accident:
- Call law enforcement;
- Remain calm;
- Attain vehicle, witness, and driver information;
- Sketch the scene, showing vehicles crash locations; and
- Help the injured.
Particularly in a hit and run accident, the more information and witnesses to the accident you can get, the better. When seeking compensation for injuries suffered in a hit and run accident, one option is to file a claim through your own insurance company. Before filing a claim or making a decision regarding a potential settlement, contact our experienced car accident attorney. Our team of legal professionals may be able to help you locate the other driver, so that they may be held accountable, either through their own insurer or through a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or damages as the result of a car accident, contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, we can help you hold responsible parties accountable for your injuries, so that you get the compensation you deserve. We have offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland. Call or contact us online today for a free review of your case.