Hit And Run Accidents
When The Bachelor star Chris Soules rear-ended a tractor, instead of staying around to help the tractor driver, he called 911 and booked it out of there. Soules was later arrested in his home and was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Hit and Run Statistics
Hit and run accidents are devastating in so many ways. Not only are accident victims betrayed by the lack of human compassion; oftentimes genuine physical tragedy results:
- 1,500 fatalities occur per year as a result of hit and run incidents;
- Nationally, roughly 11 percent of accidents that are reported to law enforcement involve a driver fleeing the scene; in Florida that number is 25 percent;
- Pedestrians account for nearly 60 percent of victims in hit and run accidents;
- Weekends are the most common times for hit and run fatalities, accounting for almost 60 percent incidents;
- About half of fatal hit and run accidents occur after 9 PM and before 3 AM.
Why do Drivers Leave?
Experts who have studied hit and run accidents attribute hit and run drivers with several possible reasons for their actions:
- Fear: drivers know something terrible has occurred, and don’t want to have to face the consequences;
- Driving record: drivers who already have a terrible driving record realize they may lose their license and don’t know how they will manage without it;
- Drunkenness: Drivers don’t want to be charged with a DUI;
- Character flaw: Some people just have no sense of right and wrong;
- Panic: Startled and afraid, some drivers’ first instinct is to flee.
The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident vary depending on the resulting property damage and/or injuries or fatalities. Maximum penalties are:
- For property damage only: Second Degree Misdemeanor with $500 fine and 60 days in prison;
- Injuries: Second degree felony with 3 years license revocation, $5000 fine, and 5 years in prison;
- Fatalities: First-degree felony with 3 years license revocation, $10,000 fine, and 4-30 years of prison.
Following an accident, the law requires drivers to remain at the scene. Not only is this a legal requirement: it is the right thing to do, and could result in the saving of a life.
If you or a loved one are involved in such an accident and are left with serious injuries or worse, the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton can help. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach today for a personalized, no-cost consultation.