Miami Car Accident Property Damage Lawyer
Car accidents happen. Sometimes, they result in injuries to one or more of the parties involved or damage to the vehicles or other objects involved. What a driver does in the moments that follow a collision determine whether the case is a civil case of a criminal one. Willfully failing to stop and identify oneself at the scene of an accident that causes injury or property damage is a criminal offense. This is known as a hit and run charge. If you are facing a hit and run charge, work with our team of experienced Miami property damage lawyers to fight the charge.
Civil versus Criminal Charge for Property Damage
When a collision occurs because of a driver’s negligence, the negligent driver is liable for the victim’s damages. You may be required to pay for the victim’s damages from the accident through your automobile insurance policy regardless of whether you are found guilty of leaving the scene of the accident or not.
Leaving the scene of an accident where property damage or personal injury occurred is a criminal offense. In Florida, leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in property damage is a second degree misdemeanor. Leaving the scene of an accident where an injury occurred is a third degree felony.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Leaving the scene of a collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a piece of personal property without identifying oneself to the other party involved is known as a hit and run. Under Florida law, drivers who are involved in accidents that cause property damage, whether the damage is to another vehicle or a stationary object, are required to do the following:
- Stop their vehicles as close to the scene of the collision as possible;
- Locate the owner or operator of the other vehicle or property and notify him or her of the collision;
- Give the owner or operator of the other piece of property his or her name, address, and vehicle registration number and if requested, driver’s license; and
- Furnish his or her driver’s license, registration, name, address, and any other relevant information to law enforcement officers investigating the incident.
If the owner of the damaged property cannot be easily located, the driver responsible for the collision must leave a conspicuous note somewhere on the property that contains his or her contact information and vehicle registration number for the owner. He or she must also contact the nearest law enforcement agency and notify them of the collision.
If a human being was injured as a result of the collision, the driver responsible must comply with the requirements listed above as well as provide a reasonable level of assistance to the injured party, which may include calling for an ambulance or bringing him or her to the nearest emergency room.
Contact Our Experienced Miami Property Damage Lawyers
If you were involved in a collision that resulted in property damage, you can potentially find yourself facing a criminal charge. If you find yourself in this situation, work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend your case against the charge. Contact our team of experienced Miami property damage lawyers at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation with us.