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Florida law targets the hit-and-run fatal car accident

A 33-year-old motorist arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol will face charges under the state's new laws increasing the penalties for people convicted of leaving the scene of a fatal car accident. According to police, the driver is alleged to have fled after hitting a scooter from behind and killing the rider, a 37-year-old man, who was on his way home from work.

The loss of a loved one in a fatal accident caused by the negligence of another individual might give the surviving family members a right to sue for compensation. Recoverable damages in a wrongful death action may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and other financial losses that may be proven by an attorney representing the family members of the victim.

In addition to the civil damages payable to the family of a fatal car accident victim, a person convicted of leaving the scene of the accident faces at least four years in prison.

The new criminal statute in Florida seeks to deter people from fleeing the scene of fatal motor vehicle accidents by requiring judges to impose a four-year minimum even in cases, such as this one, in which the motorist later voluntarily surrendered to the police. The law also revokes an offender's driving privileges for three years.

The loss of a loved one in a fatal car accident is an emotionally devastating event. Family members might not be aware of their right to seek compensation from the negligent driver who caused the accident, or they might be in need of guidance regarding how to make a claim.

A personal injury attorney may be a good resource for answers to questions and concerns regarding the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident.

Source: News 4 Jacksonville, "Man arrested in fatal hit-and-run crash," Crystal Moyer and Francesca Amiker, Nov. 10, 2014

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