A 2018 report indicates that Florida ranks among the top three states in terms of highest per capita rates of fatal hit-and-run accidents.
The study, published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety last spring, examined hit-and-run crashes in the United States from 2006 to 2016. Of those years, 2016 had the most fatal hit-and-run crashes, with the total number (2,049) representing a 60 percent increase since 2009.
The three states with the highest fatal hit-and-run rates were New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida. Hit-and-run deaths increased 7.2 percent each year on average since 2009, a clear trend in the wrong direction for roadway safety.
Researchers also found that there was an average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes each year since 2006. About 65 percent of all people killed in these accidents were pedestrians or bicyclists.
Drivers responsible for remaining at scene of accidents
By law, every driver must remain at the scene of an accident until law enforcement and medical responders arrive. Leaving the scene of an accident significantly increases the penalties a driver will face when caught. When there are aggravating factors at play, such as the presence of severe injuries or deaths, the person who fled the scene could be charged with a felony and sentenced to prison.
A hit-and-run crash also makes things difficult on anyone injured the accident. If the driver is never found, victims may need to have their own insurance provider cover their medical bills, property damage and other expenses.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver who then fled the scene, consult an experienced Bradenton personal injury lawyer with Goldman Babboni Fernandez & Walsh for further guidance.