Hit and Run Accidents
Any car crash is a difficult situation, but a hit and run can be particularly devastating for everyone involved. At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, our car accident attorneys understand that victims in Fort Myers and the surrounding area may shoulder a significant physical, emotional, and financial burden. We work diligently to pursue the compensation that our clients need for their harm. Hit and run accidents can be difficult to navigate, but having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case.
Holding a Florida Driver Accountable for a Hit and Run
Hit and run accidents are a major problem in the state of Florida. State authorities report that these collisions increased by 23 percent in 2014, and nearly half of the victims were pedestrians. Nationwide, there were more than 80,000 hit and run accidents that year.
A hit and run occurs when a driver illegally leaves the scene of an accident without assisting an injured person or getting help by reporting the accident to the appropriate authorities. These statutory duties are set forth in Florida Statute Section 316.061- 316.063. Violations of this law may expose drivers to criminal penalties, and they also may give rise to a personal injury lawsuit by the victim or the victim’s family. In most situations, these claims are brought under a theory of negligence, which requires proving the elements of a duty of care, a breach of the duty, causation linking the breach to the accident, and actual damages.
Since a hit and run is a crime, the related principle of negligence per se may apply. This may substitute for the elements of duty and breach when the defendant has violated a law designed to protect a certain type of person from a particular type of harm. The statute that criminalizes a hit and run is intended to protect accident victims from the additional harm that may occur when they do not promptly receive medical attention. Someone who proves that negligence per se applies to his or her situation then would need to show that he or she would not have been harmed, or harmed as severely, if the defendant had not fled the scene.
In other situations, some careless behavior by the defendant before he or she fled the scene may have been what caused the victim’s harm. People often commit a hit and run when they are concerned about being stopped for a traffic violation or another crime, such as a DUI, driving on a suspended license, or driving without the proper insurance. These also are breaches of the duty of care that every driver owes to those around them to handle their vehicles as prudently as a reasonable person would handle them in a similar situation.
Hit and run victims may be able to seek compensation for many economic and non-economic costs and losses, such as medical expenses, lost income and benefits, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Surviving family members of an individual who died in a hit and run accident may be able to seek compensation for the decedent’s medical bills, funeral expenses, and other damages through a wrongful death claim.
Consult an Injury Attorney in Fort Myers to Protect Your Rights after a Car Accident
At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, our injury lawyers compassionately advise individuals and families in the Fort Myers area. We also proudly represent clients from Naples and other communities in Collier and Lee Counties, including Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, and Port Charlotte. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation at which we can listen to the details of your situation and discuss your rights and options. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 283-7442 or contact us through our online form today.