Being involved in a hit-and-run car accident is extremely difficult for victims. Of course, any car accident can be devastating due to the resulting property damage, injuries, and even fatalities in some cases, but when the at-fault driver does not even accept responsibility for his or her actions, it can be almost too much to bear.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents appear to be on the rise in Florida. In 2012, 67,986 hit-and-run collisions took place in Florida; 166 of them resulted in fatalities. The latest reminder of this tragic trend took place just last weekend in Davie, when a bicyclist was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver.
WSVN TV news recently completed a report on the topic, for which they interviewed several South Florida family members of hit-and-run victims. The families agreed that it is very difficult to find closure when the hit-and-run driver remains on the run.
Leaving the scene of a car accident in Florida is a felony, and those drivers who are apprehended do face serious criminal consequences and often civil consequences as well. The criminal element is handled by police and prosecutors, while victims or their families can also pursue civil claims to obtain compensation for medical or funeral expenses, lost wages, and other financial burdens related to the car accident.
It is important that victims of hit-and-runs and their families know that even if the driver is not caught, there may be legal remedies available to at least mitigate the financial effects of the accident. This might include an uninsured motorist claim, or another resource. The legal options depend on the specifics of the case, and it is thus wise to seek legal counsel.
Source: WSVN.com, "Relatives of hit-and-run victims aim to raise awareness," Feb. 19, 2013