Hit and Run Car Accidents

Hit & Run

When an individual is involved in a vehicle accident and leaves the scene without providing the required identifying information, he or she may be prosecuted for a crime commonly known as a hit and run. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, hit and run crashes have increased in recent years. From 2013 to 2014, the number of hit and run crashes statewide has increased by seven percent, and the number of fatalities increased by twenty three percent. A large percentage of all crashes in the state – twenty five percent – are hit and run types of incidents. Englander Peebles can provide experienced legal assistance with pursuing compensation in hit and run cases in Hollywood and throughout Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident as a Criminal Offense

When someone causes an accident and either causes property damage or injuries to another, Florida law provides the steps that must be followed. If you fail to follow Florida law following a collision, you may face criminal charges brought by the State Attorney’s Office. Victims of hit and runs in Florida may be subpoenaed by a prosecutor to provide a deposition or to testify in criminal proceedings. Englander Peebles is an experienced Florida law firm that can assist you with cooperating with the State Attorney’s Office with their investigation.

Civil Hit and Run Lawsuit

Aside from the potential criminal penalties, a civil suit may also be brought in a hit and run accident against the responsible driver. This process is separate from criminal proceedings and is intended to provide victims with compensation for damages caused by the collision including, pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. In addition to compensatory damages, victims of hit and run crashes may be able to obtain punitive damages from the offending driver. Punitive damages are awarded by a jury and are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

Investigating Hit and Run Accidents

Hit and run accidents are unique because unlike other accidents, the person who is responsible may not be immediately known. Victims of hit and run accidents are often unable to identify the individual who caused the accident due to the stress or pain caused by the impact. When this occurs, it is vital that an investigation be started immediately. An investigation may include taking statements of witnesses and locating any surveillance cameras that may have recorded the collision. The longer a victim waits, the less likely that crucial evidence will be preserved.

Contact an Experienced Trial Attorney Today

Hit and run accidents can result in court proceedings involving separate criminal and civil cases over the same accident. The attorneys at Englander Peebles can provide you with effective representation to help you navigate the complexities involved in hit and run cases. Don’t hesitate to contact us today by completing our online form or by calling our Fort Lauderdale office at (954) 500-4878 for a free initial consultation.