Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 17, 2016 – After an increase in hit-and-run car accidents in 2014, preliminary statistics indicate that another spike in hit-and-runs took place in 2015, with more than 90,000 such accidents occurring.
“Drivers need to realize that if they leave the scene of an accident, they are not only committing a crime, they may also be putting an injured person's life at risk by delaying the emergency response,” said Jason Chalik, a Florida car accident attorney with Chalik & Chalik Law Offices. “When a crash takes place, it's important to stay at the scene, call the police, gather information from other drivers and witnesses, and, if you are injured, seek medical attention and contact an attorney.”
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles released initial data for 2015 indicating that there were 92,623 hit-and-run crashes in Florida last year. That is almost 9 percent more than in 2014 and 17 percent more than in 2013. Hit-and-runs caused the deaths of 186 people, and over 19,000 people were injured.
The Florida Highway Patrol has launched a public information campaign titled “Hit and Run, Bad to Worse.” The initiative is intended to educate drivers about how leaving the scene of an accident worsens an already bad situation. Fleeing a crash scene when a death is involved is now a first-degree felony; if an injury is involved, it is a third-degree felony. Offenders may face mandatory minimum prison sentences.
In addition, leaving the scene of a car accident can be the difference between life and death for an injury victim. Drivers involved in a crash have a duty to stay at the scene and call for help if possible. In the case of a hit-and-run accident, the delay in anyone calling 911 means that precious time may be lost during which emergency personnel could be saving a life.
Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers
28 W Flagler St, #1000
Miami, FL 33130
Phone: (305) 944-2035