Hit and Run Car Accident in Lake Worth

What is a “Hit and Run” Car Accident?

Hit and Run Car Accident in Lake Worth A hit and run Florida car accident is a situation in which a driver who has just been involved in a car accident, leaves the accident scene before law enforcement authorities can arrive. This will also involve a situation in which no statutory accident duties have been performed. These Lake Worth accidents may have involved a fatality, bodily injury and/or property damage.

What are the Property Damage Statutory Duties in a Florida Car Accident?

If a Lake Worth car accident only results in property damage (vehicle or object) then statutes 316.061-316.063 determine the obligations that a driver needs to adhere to. These include:

  • The driver must come to a halt as close to the accident scene as possible, while still maintaining a reasonable safe position on the road.

  • If the property that is damaged is currently unattended, the driver is expected to either attach a notice with their identification and contact information (name, vehicle registration number and driver’s address) or directly contact the owner of the property. In addition, the driver must also notify the local authorities or the police department of the situation that has occurred.

  • In the case of an attended accident, the driver is required to give the investigating officer requested information that can include; name and address, driver’s license number, the vehicle registration and other information that the office may ask for.

  • If the other party asks for it, then a driver must show their driver’s license.

  • Provide the other driver with their name, address and vehicle registration number.

What are the required car accident statutory duties in Florida when there is bodily injury or a fatality?

If a car accident results in bodily injury or the fatality of an individual, the statutes for a Florida driver (Sections 316.062 and 316.027, Florida Statutes) include:

  • The driver must come to a halt as close to the accident scene as possible, while still maintaining a reasonable safe position on the road.

  • Provide the other driver with their name, address and vehicle registration number.

  • If the other party asks for it, then the driver must show their driver’s license.

  • If a driver is injured and unable to accept the information that the other driver is required to give, then the non-injured driver is obligated to contact the closest law enforcement authorities so that the accident may be reported.

  • In the case of an attended accident, the driver is required to give the investigating officer requested information that can include; name and address, driver’s license number, the vehicle registration and other information that the office may ask for.

  • It immediate medical assistance is required, or if the injured person requests medical attention, then the other driver is required to offer “reasonable assistance”. This can include; transporting or making transportation arrangements for the individual to be placed in the car of a physician, surgeon or hospital that is able to render medical assistance.

What Types of Injuries can Result in a Hit and Run Car Accident?

The types of injuries that may occur in a hit and run car accident are pretty much what you would expect in any other types of car accidents. These injuries may include:

  • Various broken bones that may not always be seen, at first. For example, the small bones of the hand/feet and less obvious bone cracks can be present.

  • Spinal injuries that may lead to progressive debilitation and can hinder movement with a loss of mobility.

  • Injuries to the muscles and ligaments in which these can be stretched and/or torn. The pain that results from these types of injuries can lead to serious debilitation.

  • Injuries to the back and neck may include; whiplash and herniated disks, along with damage to the spinal cord and attached muscles.

  • Head and brain trauma can include; a fractured skull, bleeding internally and severe concussions. Unfortunately, these injuries may not be fully manifested until much later.

  • Burn injuries may take many years to heal and can require expensive plastic surgery along with painful skin grafts.

However, in a hit and run car accident there are other considerations that may occur. As an example, a person may need immediate medical care that they won’t receive since the other driver has driven away from the scene. The driver may have also been needed to contact law enforcement authorities. These are situations that can easily lead to the injured person suffering even greater injury. A fatality is also possible.

This is precisely the reason why statutes have been put into place when it comes to remaining at the scene of an accident. For an injured person, it will provide them with the opportunity to receive immediate medical care. For property damage, restitution needs to be paid to the owner of the property and that may not happen, if the damaging party remains anonymous. But, in any case, a Lake Worth hit and run accident is a situation that is very seriously viewed by the courts. This is why car accident attorneys always advise that one should remain at the scene, if a car accident should occur.

How can a Hit-and-Run Car Accident be Proven?

In a case that involves a Lake Worth hit and run car accident, four things must be proven. These are stipulated in the following statutes:

The items that need to be proven are:

  1. The driver (defendant) should have known or knew that they were in a vehicle accident.

  2. The driver was the actual person that was in a car accident with results of; a fatality, damage to property belonging to another person and/or personal injury to another person.

  3. The defendant did not stop at the scene of the accident and has failed to provide law enforcement the required information. The defendant did not share the required information with the owner or victim of the crash. The defendant did not provide reasonable assistance to the injured party of the accident, if that assistance appeared to be needed or was requested.

  4. The defendant should have known or knew that they caused property damage, personal injury to another person or a fatality.

What are the Penalties When It Comes to Leaving the Scene of an Accident?

In a Lake Worth hit-and-run auto accident, the penalties will vary according to the seriousness and type of harm that was caused. These penalties can either be stipulated by current statutes or determined in a court case by a judge (or jury).

When personal injury has been the result of an accident, the offense of “leaving the scene of the accident” is deemed a 3rd degree felony. This can carry a penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment. 5 years of probation and a fine of $5,000. In the case of a fatality resulting from the accident, then that offense is deemed a 1sr degree felony. This can carry a penalty of up to 30 years imprisonment a fine of $10,000. In situations in which the accident has involved personal injury or a fatality, a mandatory two years imprisonment might be imposed. The driver’s license may also be revoked, by the decision of the court.

If the hit and run offense involved damage to property, then it is normally classified as a 2nd degree felony with penalties that involve a fine of $50 and up to 60 days imprisonment.

Are There Certain Valid Defenses That can be Used for a “Leaving the Scene of the Accident” Charge?

The short answer is “Yes.” There are some defenses that can be utilized when it comes to a charge of hit and run. The defendant’s defense attorney can use these defense strategies in order to either remove or mitigate any consequences that might arise from a hit and run charge. These defenses can include:

  • The assistance that was rendered was to be considered “reasonable” and thus fulfilled the requirement of “rendering reasonable assistance”.

  • There was hostile behavior on the part of the victim that caused the defendant to leave the accident scene and then go to alert the police authorities.

  • The accident victim refused to accept the defendant’s identifying information.

  • The vehicle was stopped at the first place that was considered to be safe.

  • There was not a “willful” decision to leave the accident scene. The decision was the result of the trauma of the accident, itself.

  • There was no understanding that an actual impact had occurred that caused damage to property or people.

There are also situations in which a hit and run accident conviction isn’t a given. For example, in some misdemeanor cases, the defense attorney has consulted with the prosecution and made a deal in which restitution can be made. This is done in order to keep a conviction with a permanent criminal record, imprisonment and/or probation from happening.

Enlist a Personal Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Right

Deaths and injuries from a hit and run Florida car accident can be the result of reckless behavior, which may occur in Lake Worth at any given time. In addition, it’s important to understand that while high speeds are often a factor, there are also many times when this isn’t the situation. There have been a number of cases in which a very low speed car crash has resulted in an injury that eventually led to a person’s death. The injuries involved may include brain damage and various internal organ injuries. Therefore, even if you are involved in a hit and run Florida car accident that occurred at a low speed, it is advised that you seek medical care and the advice of a car accident personal injury attorney.

Therefore, when you or a loved one are involved in a Lake Worth hit and run Florida car accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

Discuss your case with a Hit and Run Car Accident Personal Injury Attorney Serving Lake Worth Today! Turn to Frankl & Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call (561) 800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.

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