According to Florida law enforcement officials, the amount of hit and run crashes in the state is increasing at a very concerning pace. Statistics show that the state had more than 80,000 hit and run crashes last year alone, with fatal hit and run crashes increasing by 23 percent from 2013 to 2014. Additionally, nearly half of the victims killed in hit and run accidents in 2014 were pedestrians.
In response to these alarming statistics, the Florida Highway Patrol and the state of Florida have created a brand new campaign to crack down on drivers guilty of hit and run accidents in the state and to increase awareness about the punishments that will be given to people who commit hit and runs.
Governor Rick Scott signed a new law in 2014 that increased the penalties for fleeing an accident scene. It is now considered to be a second-degree felony, and will come with a mandatory sentence of at least four years if the driver is convicted. Additionally, drivers that leave an accidence scene could be subject to a three-year license revocation under a piece of legislation known as the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act. If the driver is proven to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the accident, then the mandatory minimum prison sentence is increased from two to four years.
Florida officers say that if you are in a hit and run accident, you should remain calm, help anyone who is injured, collect any information you can from witnesses and get a sketch of the accident scene to show the crash location and other events.
To secure reliable legal representation after your car accident, consult a dedicated Jacksonville accident lawyer right away.
Attorney Mark Link contributed to this post.