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Picking Up The Pieces After A Hit-And-Run

In February, a 19-year old teen was severely injured in a hit-and-run rollover accident in Sarasota. Though the driver of the other vehicle caused the accident, they stopped for only a few minutes before leaving the scene of the crime.

The victim of the accident, Jack Kelley, suffered critical injuries and was taken to a local hospital where he was placed in the ICU. Fortunately for Kelley and his family, the accident was captured on a surveillance camera that showed the event in dramatic detail. After numerous tips came in about the suspected identity of the hit-and-run driver, 24-year-old Zachari Brock turned himself in to authorities.

Jack Kelley was able to leave the ICU in late March and started a long road of recovery. As of May 21, he was out of the hospital and walking the beach after an amazing recovery.

Zachari Brock will face a long road of his own. He was charged with two felonies, including leaving the scene of a crash and driving without a valid driver’s license.

Accidents Happen

Hit-and-run accidents happen every day. People who have caused an accident can become so frightened of the consequences of their actions that they flee the scene to avoid being caught. Reports show that in 2016, hit-and-run accidents reached an all-time high with over 2000 deaths that resulted when a driver left the scene.

Florida has one of the highest death rates from this type of an accident. Though most of these accidents involve pedestrians and cyclists, there are still many that involve other motor vehicles, like in Jack Kelley’s case.

Capturing Hit-And-Run Drivers

Police officers do their very best to try to discover the identities of hit-and-run drivers. As soon as they arrive at the accident scene, they begin collecting evidence that might lead them to the perpetrator. Tire tracks, witnesses, and even pieces of the car left behind can lead to identifying the driver.

The expanded use of surveillance cameras around homes and on commercial properties has helped expand police efforts. Now more than ever before, the odds are in favor of getting caught. This allows victims to receive compensation for their injuries via personal injury lawsuits.

Consequences For Hit-And-Run Drivers

On July 1, 2014, the penalties for hit and run drivers changed when the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act (section 316.027, Florida Statutes) was signed into Florida law. The law was created after Aaron Cohen, cyclist and father of two, was fatally struck by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol and fled the scene of the accident.

Criminal charges today can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the circumstances of the accident. They can include heavy fines, probation, driver’s license suspension, and even prison time.

• Leaving the scene of an accident causing only property damage is considered a second-degree misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to 60 days in county jail and/or a fine of $500.
• Leaving the scene of an accident causing injury is a third-degree felony and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or
a $5,000 in fines.
• Leaving the scene of an accident causing death is a first-degree felony and comes with a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

When You Need Legal Representation

If you sustained injuries after a hit and run accident, you might need the assistance of an attorney. If the police catch the other driver, you’ll need help filing a claim against them. If the other driver is never caught, an attorney can help you recover losses.
An attorney who is focused in the field will be better at representing you for who you are, what has happened, and what you deserve.
Our attorneys are highly regarded by their peers and have had considerable success in handling a wide range of injury lawsuits, including hit-and-run accidents. Contact us today for more information about getting the compensation you deserve.