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Hit and Run Information. Do you know how to avoid being accused of the crime of leaving the scene of an accident? Experienced Ocala and Gainesville accident attorney, Jeffrey Meldon, gives advice and guidance to help you be safe and legal on the road in the event of a crash.
What is a “hit and run?”
A “hit and run” happens when a driver leaves the scene of a crash after causing property damage, personal injury, or even death. It’s often called leaving the scene of an accident, and a driver has a statutory (legal) duty to stop and help others. If someone is killed, it could be the basis for a wrongful death suit. Shockingly, 92,500 people are victims of nationwide hit-and-run crashes each year-about 1,400 of whom are killed.
What should I do to avoid being accused of a Hit and Run?
Stop. When an accident happens, adrenaline pumps, and it’s hard to remember what to do. Above all-stop your car. Florida law requires that a driver stop, render aid, and give identifying information to others, if injury or property damage occurs in a crash. Plus, a driver in a wreck must call the police, if there are any injuries and they are reasonably able. (See., Florida Statutes §§316.027-.066(2010).)
Can a pedestrian be involved in a hit and run?
Yes. Watch out Floridians. Florida is home to the top four (4) U.S. cities for pedestrian hit-and-run crashes-Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and Jacksonville. In 2009, Time Magazine called the Sunshine State a breeding ground for “deadly hit-and-run car culture.” In 2008, Florida topped the nationwide tally with 490 pedestrian hit-and-run deaths. South Florida remains especially deadly for walkers due to overcrowded roads, poor city planning, and a lack of public transit.
What identifying information do I need to provide in the event of a crash?
Drivers must provide their name, address, and vehicle registration number to others when involved in an accident. Upon request, a motorist in a wreck must display their license or permit. It’s best practice to keep your information in an envelope or folder to avoid searching through the glove compartment. (See., Florida Statutes §§316.027-.066(2010).)
What if there isn’t anyone in the car I hit?
Even if you hit an unattended parked car or other property, like a mailbox, stop and leave your information. Florida law states a driver who hits and damages another car, even if there’s no one in it, must try and locate the owner or leave a visible note with the driver’s name, address, and vehicle registration number. Be responsible-it’s the law. (See., Florida Statutes §316.063(2010).)
What might happen if I don’t stop?
A driver who leaves the scene of an accident could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor, if the crash results in death, injury, or property damage. At minimum, a motorist may be cited a non-criminal ticket for failing to give information and render aid. Most importantly, a pedestrian or motorist may die, if they don’t receive medical attention. Do the right thing-if you’re in a crash, stop and help. (See., Florida Statutes §§316.027-.066(2010).)
For more information:
Victim of a Hit and Run Accident. What do I do? Local Accident Attorney Gives Advice
We at Meldon Law strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of an accident or in the recovery from one.
We are experienced personal injury attorneys, trial lawyers, negotiators, litigators, paralegals, and staff that have been proudly working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, and the rest of North Central Florida and North Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, and motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
Based on Jeffrey Meldon’s, founder of Meldon Law, over 40 years of helping accident victims get justice and a fair shake from the insurance companies, he has written the consumer guide book, Seven Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident Case. You can request your free, no obligation copy right now, or contact our office for your complimentary copy sent to you today.
Contact Meldon Law at (800) 373-8000 or (352) 373-8000 immediately if you have been involved in a serious auto, truck, or motorcycle accident. We are in your community, have the experience and resources required to work towards obtaining a fair settlement for you – we are here to help you.