After an accident between a vehicle and a pedestrian in which the driver was at fault, there are both criminal and civil consequences the driver could face. Below is an analysis of those potential penalties.
If the driver strikes a pedestrian and then fails to stop at the scene, he or she will be charged with a hit-and-run offense. Leaving the scene of an accident causing injury or death could result in felony charges.
If the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, he or she could be charged with a DUI offense. Again, aggravating factors could make this a felony, which carries significant penalties, including large fines and incarceration.
Finally, if the accident resulted in the death of the victim, the driver could be charged with vehicular manslaughter (or involuntary manslaughter). There must be some specific circumstances for the case to constitute vehicular manslaughter, such as driving while intoxicated or at an extremely high rate of speed.
In most cases, individuals will face only civil consequences if they cause an accident. These come in the form of personal injury lawsuits or insurance claims. In such cases, the driver could bear some direct financial liability or at least have to pay out deductible expenses and face higher insurance premiums in the future.
Wrongful death lawsuits are a specific type of personal injury suit that occurs only if the driver was at fault for the death of another person and did not bear any criminal liability.
To learn more about your legal options after a serious pedestrian accident in Florida, speak with an experienced Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.