If you hit someone with your vehicle, it’s likely that you will face some consequences. It is possible that you will go to jail, but only in certain circumstances. Find out more about the consequences for hitting a pedestrian and learn how to avoid jail time.
What are the Consequences of Hitting a Pedestrian?
There are several consequences you could face for hitting a pedestrian in Florida. However, every situation is different. The penalties could range from points on your license to criminal charges.
In most situations, the driver is fined. The amount of fines vary based on your negligence. For instance, the pedestrian may have been jaywalking. Because jaywalking is illegal, the pedestrian is partially responsible for the accident. This could mean that you only pay a low fine. If you did not do anything reckless or negligent, you might not have any consequences.
When Will You Face Criminal Charges?
You could have some responsibility for the accident. If the pedestrian died and you were responsible for the incident, you could face criminal charges. In many fatal accidents, the driver is held accountable for their actions in criminal court.
If the pedestrian died as a result of the accident, you could face manslaughter charges. The crime is considered a felony and could result in jail time. Long after you serve your time, you could experience challenges because of your criminal record.
Driving away from the accident is taken very serious in Florida. Even if the person does not die from their injuries, you could face criminal charges for the hit and run.
Typically, criminal charges are only filed if the accident was intentional. But there may be some exceptions. For this reason, you should speak with an experienced attorney after your accident.
Whether or not the accident was intentional, you risk losing your license. It could be revoked or suspended for your actions. To regain your license, you need to take certain steps. The process is not immediate and you could be unable to drive for months or years. This consequence is the most common for incidents that involve drunk driving or substance abuse.
Personal Injury Claim
The pedestrian could also file a personal injury claim against you. This is different from criminal charges and cannot result in jail time. But it can cost you money.
When is the Pedestrian at Fault?
Most drivers who hit pedestrians are at least partially at fault for the accident. However, there are cases in which the driver had no responsibility for the accident. For instance, a drunk pedestrian who runs in front of a vehicle is liable for the accident. If the driver was following all of the rules of the road, they share no liability.
A pedestrian who illegally crosses a street could also be to blame. But once again, the driver needs to be completely innocent. If they share any blame, they are likely to face some consequences.
Getting the Help You Need
In Palm Beach County, pedestrian fatalities rose by 10% between 2018 and 2018. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, you should contact an attorney. The courts in West Palm Beach take pedestrian accidents very seriously. Therefore, they might attempt to prosecute you to the full extent of the law.
By working with an attorney, you can get the legal representation you deserve. An attorney can tell you more about the potential consequences. Additionally, they can represent you in court. Contact 1-800-Injured and learn more about getting aggressive legal representation.