Hit and run car accidents should be a serious concern to all Floridians. In 2012, the state fell just shy of 70,000 cases of hit-and-run accidents. If these 70,000 car accidents, 17,000 people were injured and 166 people died in hit-and-run accidents.
Because of a gap of punishment in the laws, a drunk driver had an incentive to leave the scene of an accident. That is until a group of concerned citizens worked endlessly to get the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act unanimously passed by the Florida Legislature. The bill now awaits Governor Scott's signature to put it into law.
The "Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act" is named after a Miami triathlete who was killed by a driver who fled the scene. Cohen left behind a wife and two young kids. Although there was strong circumstantial evidence that the driver was drunk, because he fled the scene he enjoyed a lighter sentence than he would have for DUI manslaughter.
The new law would remove this incentive to flee the scene. According to WSTP 10 News, the new bill makes it a mandatory minimum sentence of four years or more - depending on the severity - for someone who's involved in a hit and run car accident. It also requires courts to revoke driver licenses for at least 3 years of a person convicted of a hit-and-run.
I salute the efforts of those who made this bill into existence and encourage you to contact Governor Scott and tell him to sign the bill into law.
Lastly, I encourage everyone to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in the event you or a loved one is involved in a hit and run car accident. Without it, you could be left responsible for all medical bills and lost wages caused by the negligent driver.
Drive, ride and walk safely and watch out for those who don't!
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. His Clearwater law firm – Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.