Orlando Hit and Run Car Accident Lawyer
It is extremely frustrating to be involved in a car accident when the other driver leaves the scene. Everyone has a responsibility to both provide contact information and to provide aid to injured people after a collision. When people break these laws, they are both in trouble with the police and open themselves to an increased chance that they will be held civilly liable.
The police eventually track down the defendant and the injured party can sue for damages, but even if the at-fault driver is never found, a plaintiff still has options. Orlando hit and run car accident lawyers represent clients in all situations who have been injured after a driver has fled the scene. Speak with a skilled car accident lawyer about filing a claim.
Driver Responsibilities after an Accident
After any accident that results in property damage, all drivers have a duty to leave contact information, show their driver's license, and provide ID to police. Any failure to do so is a misdemeanor criminal offense under Florida Statute 316.061. If the crash results in a person being injured or killed, the same responsibilities apply to provide contact information to both the injured person and the police.
There is an added duty to render "reasonable assistance" that includes taking a person to a hospital or calling an ambulance. Any violation of this law is a serious felony level crime according to Florida Statute 316.027. In short, an easy way to ensure that a person conforms to these requirements is to always contact the police after an accident. This will ensure that proper information is swapped and that any needed medical attention is given.
Florida Negligence Laws
In typical car accident cases, the plaintiff pursues their claim using the legal theory of negligence. In short, the defendant had a duty to protect the defendant, and when that duty was broken, the plaintiff was injured. However, in cases where the defendant leaves the scene of an accident, the doctrine of negligence per se applies. In short, this means that the defendant has been convicted of violating a law that is meant to protect people from injuries.
Because the Florida laws requiring a person to provide aid is meant to limit a person's injuries, if a person violates this law, they are considered civilly responsible for those injuries. Therefore, if a person is convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in criminal court, they will automatically be liable for any damages in a civil case. Using this doctrine, Orlando hit and run car accident Lawyers are able to hold many defendants quickly liable after they have been convicted in criminal court.
The Process of Obtaining Compensation
It is important to note that any criminal proceedings against the defendant will not compensate the victim. The criminal courts are only able to punish violators of the law. Any compensation that a plaintiff wishes to recover must be done through a separate civil claim that they are solely responsible for pursuing. Orlando hit and run car accident attorneys represent potential clients in these cases.
Help from an Attorney
Leaving the scene of an accident where a person has been injured or killed is a very serious crime in Florida law. We all have a responsibility to care for other motorists and a violation of this responsibility carries grave criminal and civil consequences. People who have been injured in accidents where the other driver fled the scene should contact the police immediately. Their ability to track down the defendant will likely result in criminal proceedings that will both punish the defendant and aid in a plaintiff's civil claim. Orlando hit and run car accident lawyers understand how the criminal and civil cases intersect and use this knowledge to the advantage of victims. Contact today to see how we can make this knowledge work for you.