Hit and Run Car Accidents in Delray Beach
A hit and run car accident is an accident in which a driver, who was involved in the accident, has left the accident scene prior to the arrival of law enforcement authorities. In addition to this act, the driver did not perform the “statutory accident duties” that are required in vehicle accident cases. In other words, a driver got into an accident and immediately fled the scene. In Delray Beach, these types of accidents have commonly involved; serious injuries to the remaining driver, property damage and fatalities.What are Considered the Property Damage Statutory Duties in a Delray Beach Car Accident?
The property damage statutory duties in Delray Beach are the same as they are throughout the state of Florida. In the event of property damage resulting from a vehicular accident, the driver’s obligations are outlined in the Florida statutes listed in 316.061-316.063. These include:
- The driver involved is obligated to come to a complete halt in an area as close to the accident as possible while still maintaining reasonable safety.
- Should the damaged property be unattended, the driver is obligated to place a notice that states their name and contact information (driver’s name, driver’s address and vehicle registration information). The alternative is to contact the property owner directly. Along with this, the driver is also obligated to contact the local law enforcement authorities regarding the accident that has just occurred.
- Should the property damage be attended, then the driver is obligated to provide the investigating officer the required information (name, address, vehicle registration number and all other pertinent information that was requested by the officer).
- The driver is also obligated to present the property owned their driver’s license.
- In the case of damage to another vehicle, the driver is expected to provide the other party with the required information (driver’s name, driver’s address, insurance information and vehicle registration information)
In a case in which a vehicle accident has resulted in an injury or fatality, the Delray Beach statutes are the same as the rest of the state of Florida (Sections 316.062 and 316.027, Florida Statutes) and specify:
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 a 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.
The injuries may from a hit and run motor vehicle accident may include:
Broken bones that may be small enough to escape detection, at first. This can include tiny fractures that can be found on the smaller bones of the feet and hands.
Spinal injuries that may lead to increasing debilitation which may hinder mobility and eventually cause permanent movement difficulties.
Muscle and ligament injuries in which the muscles and ligaments can be torn or stretched. Serious debilitation can result from the pain that is associated with these types of injuries.
Back and neck injuries which may include; herniated disks, spinal cord damage and damaged to the attached muscles.
Brain and head injuries that may include; internal bleeding, fractured skull along with a severe concussion. Unfortunately, these types of injuries may not show their effects until later on.
Burns can take a very long time to heal and may even lead to permanent disfigurement, painful skin grafts and costly plastic surgery.
But when it comes to a hit and run car accident, there’s more to it. Since the other driver has fled the scene, the injured party may be unable to get the immediate medical attention that they require. There is also the possibility that law enforcement authorities may not be immediately contacted either. This situation can end up making matters worse in regards to the severity of the victim’s injuries and may even lead to a fatality.
This is the reason why the state has placed certain statutes regarding accidents and the need to remain at the scene of an accident. This will ensure that the injured parties receive the immediate medical treatment that they need and restitution can be made regarding damaged property. If the party responsible for the damage should remain anonymous, then there is a good chance that these things may not occur.
This is the reason why a hit and run car accident is considered to be a very serious crime in Delray Beach and the rest of the state. It is precisely the reason why car accident attorneys advise that one should remain at the accident scene until the proper duties have been performed.How can You Prove That a Hit and Run Accident Has Been Committed in Delray Beach?
In Delray Beach hit and run car accidents, one must prove four things that are included in the statutes:
- Fla. Std. Jury Instr. (Crim) 28.4a (Attended Property)
- Fla. Std. Jury Instr. (Crim) 28.4b (Unattended Property)
- Fla. Std. Jury Instr. (Crim) 28.4 (Bodily Injury)
These items are:
- The driver, who caused the accident (defendant), either knew or should have known that they had been involved in an accident with their vehicle.
- The defendant should have known or knew that they had caused property damage, personal injury to another person or were in an accident that resulted in a fatality.
- The defendant was the actual driver that was involved in that car accident that resulted in; damage of another person’s property, an injury to another person or a fatality.
- The defendant didn’t stop at the accident’s scene and didn’t provide the required information to a property owner or law enforcement official depending on the nature of the accident. The defendant did not provide the required medical assistance to an injured party of the accident, should that assistance be requested or needed.
When it comes to a hit and run car accident in Delray Beach, the penalties that are assessed will, of course, depend on the severity of the circumstances and the damages that have resulted. In some cases, the penalties may be stipulated by the actual statutes or they can be assessed in a court trial by a judge or a judge and jury. If the hit and run case merely involves property damage (and not injury or fatality), then it is usually classified as a 2nd degree felony.Can One Obtain Restitution for a Hit-and-Run Accident in Delray Beach?
Restitution may be obtained in a criminal case against the defendant. That case would state that the victim suffered damages through the conduct of the defendant (directly or indirectly) that caused the accident in the first place.
A precedence for this may be seen in; Glaubius v. State, 688 So. 2d 913, 915 (Fla. 1997). Of course, the action of “leaving the scene of the accident” is not something that you would have expected to actually cause an injury. So, the court would have to determine if there were any damages to have resulted from the accident whether or not the defendant had stayed or left the accident scene. Because of this, there have been numerous instances in which the victim of a hit and run accident hasn’t received restitution by a state appellate court because the sole charge was “leaving the scene of an accident”. (Fykes v. State, 599 So. 2d 268 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992)
But, if it can be proven that the action of leaving the scene of an accident can be linked to an exacerbation of the victim’s personal injuries (ex.- no immediate care was given), then restitution may be granted.Are There any Valid Defenses That can be Used for a Delray Beach “Leaving the Scene of the Accident” Charge?
The defenses can include:
- The requirement of “rendering reasonable assistance” was satisfied and thus it fulfilled the directives of the associated statute.
- The victim demonstrated hostile behavior that had caused the defendant to leave the scene of the accident in order to search for assistance from the proper authorities.
- There was a refusal on the part of the accident victim when it came to accepting the defendant’s identity information.
- The vehicle was actually brought to a halt at the first observable “safe” location.
- The decision to leave the scene of the accident was not a “willful” one. That decision came about as a result of the accident’s trauma.
- The driver didn’t realize that a destructive impact had occurred to either people or property.
There are also cases in which a defense attorney has spoken to the prosecution and arranged for restitution in exchange for dropping a hit and run accident charge.Enlist an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Deaths and injuries from a hit and run Florida car accident can be the result of reckless behavior, which may occur in Delray Beach at any given time. Therefore, even if you are involved in a hit and run Florida car accident and sustained injuries, it is advised that you seek medical care and the advice of a car accident personal injury attorney.
Seeking the advice of a personal injury attorney, serving Delray Beach, who can try to assist you in receiving the compensation that you rightfully deserve. Therefore, if you or a loved one are involved in a Delray Beach hit and run Florida car accident, contact a Delray Beach personal injury attorney.
Discuss your case with a Hit and Run Car Accident Personal Injury Attorney Serving Delray Beach Today! Turn to Frankl & Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call (561) 800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.