In the past two years, South Florida has experienced a high number of fatal hit and run accidents, with Miami-Dade County leading the surge in these catastrophic accidents. This increase in hit and run accidents is leaving many to question why the trend and what can be done to ensure that drivers who flee the scene of an accident are brought to justice. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that hit and run crashes in the state have increased 23 percent from 2013 to 2014. In 2014 alone, there were over 80,000 hit and run accidents, equating to one in four crashes involving a hit and run. Our Miami personal injury lawyers found that nearly half of the hit and run accident victims were pedestrians, which is a substantial increase from previous years. Hit and run accidents involving bicyclists have also increased alarmingly by 55 percent from 2013 to 2014.
One of the most infamous hit and run accidents occurred on the Rickenbacker Causeway in 2012. Aaron Cohen was riding a bicycle on the Causeway when he was struck and killed. The driver fled the scene of the accident and was later comprehended, but served less than a year in jail. In response to the outcry over Cohen’s death and the lack of justice served, a law was passed strengthening hit and run punishments. Now, if a driver hits someone, resulting in death, and flees the scene of the crime, the driver will face a minimum of four years in prison.
The Challenges of a Hit and Run Accident Case
Hit and run accidents can present some challenges for accident victims seeking to obtain compensation for their damages sustained in the automobile, pedestrian, or bicycle accident. Following any hit and run accident, local police officers or highway patrol members will swiftly begin investigating the scene of the accident in an attempt to ascertain the identity of the fleeing driver. Investigators will seek witnesses to the accident whose statements could prove critical in catching the driver. They may search for vehicles with damage that matches the accident, review traffic camera footage, interview the victim who may have some information that helps, and analyze the scene for critical evidence as to the driver’s identity. At times, the fleeing driver will end up turning him or herself in when police become involved.
If the hit and run driver responsible for the crash is found, the driver can be held accountable for the victim’s injuries sustained in the accident, which may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more. If the driver cannot be located, the victim may still have options for recovery, including filing a claim with their own insurance company.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Justice for Hit and Run Accident Victims
Hit and run accident victims deserve to receive full compensation for their serious injuries inflicted by the reckless drivers that left them at the scene of the accident. While hit and run accident cases present some challenges, the Miami Personal Injury Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano offer the assistance you need to obtain the results you desire. For over 130 collective years, we have assisted accident victims in bringing personal injury as well as wrongful death claims across South Florida. Our dedication to quality and client centered approach has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Allow our experienced attorneys to provide you with excellence of legal services. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.