Floridians in the Boca Raton area have experienced a rash of hit-and-run accidents, prompting a look at what recourse hit-and-run victims may have in the event of such an accident, including wrongful death lawsuits.
Recent Hit-and-Run Accidents Leave Residents Ill-at-Ease
The latest hit-and-run accident in Oakland Park has left residents skeptical about the safety of their neighborhood. In early May, an 18 year-old unlicensed driver hit and killed an elderly pedestrian in broad daylight. The unlicensed driver has been charged with leaving the scene involving a fatality and driving without a valid driver's license resulting in death.
Unfortunately, this tragedy is only the latest in a string of such accidents in the area. Earlier this year, a hit-and-run driver injured a motorcyclist in West Park, and a pedestrian in Lighthouse Park was critically injured by a driver who fled the scene.
Boca Raton has experienced two recent hit-and-run fatalities, including a young girl killed while riding her tricycle and an elderly woman was killed while crossing the street. In the latter accident, the woman was hit twice: The first car stopped, but the second car fled the scene.
Florida Hit-and-Run Accident Laws and Liability
Those who commit hit-and-run accidents causing injury or death are criminally charged in the state of Florida. The charges in hit-and-run cases can vary from third-degree felony charges for serious injury to first-degree felony charges if the victim dies. If the guilty driver was drinking at the time of a fatal accident, he or she automatically serves a mandatory two-year prison sentence.
In addition, those convicted of committing a Florida hit-and-run accident must pay restitution to the injured parties or their families for any loss or damage sustained in the accident.
It is also possible to pursue damages through a experienced Boca Raton car accident lawyer. In a wrongful death lawsuit, plaintiffs must demonstrate that the defendant's negligence or intent to cause harm caused the death of their loved one and that surviving family members are facing monetary injury due to the loss of their family member.
Hit-and-run accidents can be extremely dangerous for victims and frustrating for their families seeking justice and appropriate compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a hit-and-run accident, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney.