Articles Posted in Hit-and-Run Accidents

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When a driver is involved in a South Florida car accident, they are required by law to remain at the scene of the accident and exchange their driver’s license and insurance information with the other drivers involved. In accidents in which another person was seriously injured, a motorist may also have a duty to call 911 to ensure that the injured party receives timely medical treatment. A Florida hit-and-run accident results when a driver fails to remain on the scene and fulfill these duties.

MotorcycleBy some estimates, hit-and-run accidents account for nearly 25% of all Florida car accidents. Through public awareness campaigns and the implementation of a strict set of criminal punishments for hit-and-run drivers, Florida lawmakers have made significant steps to curb hit-and-run accidents. However, the fact remains that instances of hit-and-run accidents still are high.

Victims of hit-and-run accidents may be able to obtain financial compensation for their injuries, regardless of whether the hit-and-run driver was located by police. This can be done through the uninsured-driver provision of a motorist’s car insurance policy. However, not all claims are accepted, and even when a claim is accepted, the amount offered by the insurance company may not fully compensate an accident victim for their injuries. In these cases, an accident victim should seek the assistance of a dedicated South Florida personal injury attorney.

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Erick Santana & Michael CecereAccording to an October 12, 2016 CBS News article, the number of teenagers involved in deadly car crashes is rising for the first time in nearly a decade. In 2015, there was a 10-percent increase in teen driving deaths. “In fact, teenage drivers are more than one-and-a-half times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash,” said personal injury attorney Erick Santana, a founding partner at Cecere Santana.

To help prevent fatal accidents involving teens, Santana and Cecere Santana co-founder Michael Cecere share the following three tips:

No. 1: Always wear your seat belt. “Of the teens who died in passenger vehicle crashes, approximately 55% were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash,” said Cecere. “Research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.”

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Whenever drivers are involved in an accident – regardless of whether anyone is seriously injured – the law requires that everyone involved stop and exchange information with the other motorists involved. Of course, motorists also have a duty to try and get help for anyone who is injured in an accident. This duty extends even to those motorists who were not at fault for the initial collision. When a driver fails to stop and render assistance to an injured motorist, it is called a hit-and-run accident.

truck-speeding-1531799Anyone injured in a hit-and-run accident can file a lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver, seeking compensation for the injuries they sustained from the other driver’s failure to help them. This compensation can help accident victims recover the costs associated with being in a serious accident, such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering the accident caused.

Generally speaking, hit-and-run accidents refer to accidents that are caused by the driver who ends up fleeing the scene, but that is not always the case. When the fleeing driver is not responsible for the initial accident, that driver may not be liable for all the accident victim’s injuries, but they may be liable for any additional injuries sustained from the victim not getting treatment as quickly as they should have.

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While most people cannot fathom fleeing the scene of a serious or fatal accident, the fact remains that each year there are hundreds of fatal hit-and-run accidents across the United States. Here in Florida, as well as in other states, fleeing the scene of an accident without exchanging information with the other drivers and arranging for medical transport for the injured victims is against the law.

new-style-no-u-turn-1511629A hit-and-run accident may give rise to criminal liability. But it can also result in civil liability, typically through a negligence case brought by the injured victim or their family. In a negligence case, the fact that fleeing the scene of an accident is specifically prohibited by statute may make it easier for the injured party to recover damages. This is due to the legal doctrine of negligence per se.

The Doctrine of Negligence Per Se

Negligence per se is an old legal doctrine that may act as a shortcut for plaintiffs in some cases. Essentially, negligence per se stands for “negligence in itself.” The doctrine applies when the allegedly negligent conduct of the defendant is also specifically prohibited by law. For example, drunk driving, fleeing the scene of a serious accident, or texting while driving are all specifically banned by statute.

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Earlier last month in Fort Lauderdale, a 15-year-old girl was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver. According to one local news source covering the story, the fatal accident took place at the intersection of Northwest 15th Avenue and and 11th Street, and it occurred at around 8:45 in the evening.

pedestrian-crossing-1257166Evidently, the young girl had left her home and was running to the store when she was struck. Witnesses told police that they recall seeing a grey or silver Chevy Camaro speeding through the neighborhood shortly before the accident. One man called Crime Stoppers after he witnessed the accident, telling police that the Camaro hit the girl, didn’t once come to a stop, and just kept on driving.

Emergency responders quickly arrived at the scene, but by the time the young girl was transported to the hospital it was too late. She was pronounced dead a short time after the accident. Police are still looking for the driver of the Camaro that struck the young girl and left her for dead.

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Earlier last month, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a Yellow Cab in Miami. According to one local news report, the fatal accident occurred early in the morning at around one in the morning near the intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast Fourth Street. After the accident, the cab driver allegedly responsible for the crash fled the scene.

pedestrian-zone-1544181The man who was struck was found dead a few hours later. Surveillance video captured from a nearby camera shows the Yellow Cab striking the pedestrian, who seems to have been jaywalking at the time. There was also a witness who claims to have seen the driver proceed through a green light, strike the pedestrian, and then keep on traveling northbound on Biscayne Boulevard.

Evidently, luggage belonging to the accident victim was found in the street near the accident scene. Police told reporters that, while they will not yet release the name of the deceased, he was in his 60s. Police found the cab that was allegedly involved in the accident about 20 minutes away from where the fatal accident occurred. The man operating the cab, through his attorney, claims that he was not aware that he was involved in an accident until he later learned that police were looking for his cab. Police have not yet filed charges against the cab driver, but that may change as police conclude their investigation.

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The Dania Beach community that has been recovering from the death of one of their own residents at the hands of a hit-and-run driver may soon obtain some relief as authorities are one step closer to finding the perpetrator and holding them responsible. Police caught a break in the case after recovering a crucial piece of evidence from the crash and making contact with a suspected driver of the maroon Ford F-150 that was allegedly involved in the crash.

silver-pickup-296181-mAccording to a CBS Miami report and the Broward County sheriff’s office, the victim of the hit-and-run was a 57-year-old Dania Beach resident who was hit by the truck on March 26 at approximately 7:25 p.m as he was walking home to a trailer park near Griffin Road at 26th Avenue after having dinner with a friend. According to witnesses, the driver of the pickup simply sped off after he hit the man, who was not at a crosswalk when he was hit. Since the man was not at a crosswalk, the driver of the car may not have been subject to criminal charges if he had stopped and called the police, but because he failed to stop he could possibly be criminally tried for homicide for his role in the accident.

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Earlier last month, a Miami-area teen was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while walking along NW 13th Avenue. According to a recent report by the local Miami CBS affiliate, the driver has still not been located although several weeks have passed since the tragic accident.

walkin-man-1060242-mEvidently, the girl’s boyfriend was walking her home along NW 13th Avenue when the driver of a 2008 green Toyota Corolla struck the teen as she crossed NW 54th Street. The girl’s boyfriend watched in horror as his girlfriend was struck by the vehicle. The driver continued in the direction he was going when he hit the girl.

The teen was taken to the hospital with several broken bones and severe head trauma. She was unable to breath on her own and died after more than a week in the hospital. The family of the girl told reporters that she was a junior in high school and had already secured a scholarship for college.

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