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Friday, 25 September 2015 21:51

Hit and Run Car Accidents on the Rise in Florida

Hit and run car accidents in Florida have been increasing over the past two years, according to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP).

FHP reported that there were 80,000 hit and run crashes in Florida in 2014, an increase of 7 percent from 2013, which also saw an increase from 2012. Hit and run crashes involving fatalities jumped 23 percent from 2013 to 2014. Almost half of 2014's hit and run fatalities were pedestrians, an increase of 17 percent from 2013. Overall, a quarter of all accidents are hit and run crashes.

“Drivers who leave the scene of an accident are just making things worse for themselves,” said Robert Joyce, a prominent Tampa car accident attorney with the law firm of Joyce & Reyes. “By leaving the scene, in addition to the consequences of the accident itself, they may have now committed a felony and face criminal charges.”

According to ABC News, there were 28 hit and run accidents in Tampa, Florida, in the past year and a half. A driver was recently sentenced to 35 years in state prison and 15 years probation for a hit and run crash in St. Petersburg, Florida, that killed three people. Law enforcement authorities said that hit and run drivers are often apprehended through the use of police investigative techniques, including canvassing of auto body shops.

FHP said that in 2012, three out of every five deaths on the road were pedestrians struck by drivers in a hit and run collision. One of the most alarming statistics is that of bicyclists who are struck by hit and run drivers, which increased by 55 percent from 2013 to 2014.

“Anyone injured in an accident that was the other driver's fault should consult with a personal injury attorney,” said Joyce.

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