You are driving down the road, looking forward to the rest of your day. Suddenly, your car jolts to a stop. You feel the seatbelt digging into your shoulders. There’s noise and pain. But there isn’t any other driver. The other car is gone.
Almost a full 25% of all accidents in Florida are hit and runs. And the steep consequences of running from the scene of an accident do not seem to stop the issue. But, they do offer justice when hit and runs occur.
When Florida authorities apprehend you for a hit and run accident, you can expect serious penalties, both financially and personally. In cases that don’t involve any injuries, you can face 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. This is in addition to court fines and other fees. If someone gets hurt, you can lose your license for years and pay thousands in fines and fees.
In addition to the criminal penalties above, you can also face serious civil penalties. You may have to pay for damages to property out of pocket, lose your insurance and have other fines. Any injured person can bring you to civil court for damages, including their full medical injuries, the loss of their car and for what’s called punitive damages—costs the court requires you to pay as an additional penalty for your actions.
What you should know if you are the victim of a hit and run
If you are the victim of a hit and run, you should seek medical help immediately. Your health comes first. Then, call for an attorney who can gather evidence, ensure your documentation is all in order and manage your case so you can heal without undue worry or work.