Drivers who hit a person and speed away can easily face criminal charges, but they can also face civil liability to pay for the harm they cause when they are apprehended or surrender.
To ensure that those who are seriously hurt or the families of those who are killed by these drivers can recover the financial losses incurred, you should consider contacting a Delray Beach hit-and-run lawyer. A dedicated accident lawyer may be able to help you make your strongest case possible.
Of all the automotive crashes the Florida Highway Patrol officers investigate, 25 percent are hit-and-runs. The agency has a hit-and-run investigative team and Florida installed additional surveillance cameras along I-95 and the turnpike hoping to hunt the runners.
The Florida Highway Patrol tracked hit-and-run cases over four years. Beginning in 2013, the results show a significant increase from 78,661 incidents that year to 99,004 cases in 2016, an increase of 20,343 hit-and-run crimes. In 2016, the agency reported that 179 people were killed and 1,291 people were seriously hurt.
Palm Beach County recorded 7,694 hit-and-run cases during 2016 in which 12 people were killed and 102 were injured. Miami-Dade County and Broward County have had significantly more cases with 19,087 and 11,993 respectively. One victim in every four incidents were pedestrians. The statistics also include property damage caused by hit-and-run drivers hitting parked or unattended vehicles, also a misdemeanor criminal act.
A civil lawsuit can recover economic damages including medical treatment and care, loss of income, losses because of inability to earn future income and benefits, and funeral and burial expenses if applicable. Non-economic damages in a Delray Beach hit and run accident case include pain and suffering, emotional and mental trauma and anguish.
In hit-and-run cases, punitive damages can apply to punish the wrongdoers for willful horrendous acts and serve as a warning to others. Punitive damages can be financially significant. A Delray Beach hit-and-run lawyer can potentially help an individual through this process.
Without a driver or the owner of the car to sue for damages, it is still a good idea to promptly take advantage of a Delray Beach hit-and-run lawyer’s free consultation to explain the legal rights and procedures involved in bringing a civil lawsuit for damages. A lot of preparation can be done without the name of a defendant and without any upfront legal fees, and fees are paid from the damages achieved. Acting quickly can make finding witnesses easier and while everything is still fresh in memory.
The attorney can conduct a search for evidence leading to the suspect’s identity and the vehicle’s owner using the firm’s investigator. Should the car have been loaned to another person at the time of the crime, its owner can be vicariously liable for damages under Florida’s doctrine of dangerous instrumentality.
Being injured in any type of car accident is difficult enough to deal with, but when someone else’s negligence is compounded by leaving the scene, then do not hesitate to contact a Delray Beach hit-and-run lawyer who can fight for you every step of the way to help you get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.