Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Florida

Leaving the scene of a car accident in Florida, also known as a hit and run, can have serious personal, legal, and financial consequences. The state of Florida has specific laws that explain your duties and obligations if you are involved in any incident with a motor vehicle that results in property damage, bodily injury, or death.

It’s critical for any citizen to understand their rights and duties under these laws, both to be prepared in the event of an accident and to respond correctly if one has already occurred.

Is Leaving the Scene of An Accident a Felony in Florida?

Florida statute 316.061 largely defines the legality of leaving the scene of an accident and the statutory duties that motorists must follow in the event of a collision:

  • Drivers must immediately stop driving their vehicle, safely exit the road if possible, and remain or return to the scene of the accident
  • In the event of property damage, you must provide identifying information to the other party
  • In the event of bodily injury, you must make reasonable efforts to provide assistance to the injured party, such as notifying emergency medical providers, or providing first aid if you are qualified
  • You must notify law enforcement of the accident

Not adhering to these duties can result in a felony or misdemeanor if you are charged and convicted, depending on the severity of injury or property damage:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident in Florida where there was a death can result in a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
  • Leaving the scene of an accident in Florida that resulted in serious bodily injury can result in a third-degree felony and up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine
  • Even if you leave the scene of an accident in Florida that results in property damage without injury, you could still face a misdemeanor charge, jail time, and a $500 fine

The short answer is that leaving the scene of an accident in Florida can be a felony, so you should always stay at the scene and notify the authorities.

What to Do When You Are in an Accident in Florida

No matter how minor or serious, never leave the scene of an automobile accident and follow the duties as stated under the law:

  • Stay at the accident scene or turn around immediately and return
  • If possible, safely remove your vehicle from the road
  • Check to make sure you or passengers are uninjured
  • Check to ensure that the other party is uninjured
  • Exchange information if there was property damage
  • Notify emergency medical responders
  • Notify law enforcement

These basic steps can help ensure that you stay within the bounds of the law, regardless of the circumstances of the accident. Anyone involved in an accident should always prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved, which is what these laws are designed to promote.

When to Seek Legal Assistance

It is often beneficial for people involved in an accident to seek legal assistance, even if you have left the scene of an accident in Florida. Qualified and experienced attorneys understand your rights under the law and can provide maximum protection. Attorneys will also know the duties and restrictions that law enforcement is placed under during an investigation, and can ensure that any investigators stay within the bounds of the law.

In cases where someone has already been charged or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident in Florida, qualified attorneys can still help. Legal counsel can help achieve the best possible long-term outcome for each individual circumstance.

If You Need Legal Assistance After an Accident in Florida, Clark Law Can Help

If you or someone close to you has been in an accident, or even left the scene of an accident, call the expert Clark Law legal team at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation. At Clark Law, our highly skilled attorneys regularly represent clients involved in a wide range of automobile-related cases, including leaving the scene of an accident.

 

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.

Comments