Leaving the Scene of an Accident - Availability of Restitution
One moment of distraction while driving is all it takes for an automobile accident to occur. When it happens your first instinct is to make sure you and the other driver involved are okay. In Florida, any driver involved in an accident has a duty to give information and render aid where there is an injury involved, Florida Statute § 316.062.
Compensation for loss, also known as restitution, is not typically available to the other driver in a Leaving the Scene of an Accident case.
Florida Statute § 775.089, states that in addition to any punishment, the court shall order the defendant to make restitution to the victim for: (1) damage or loss caused directly or indirectly by the defendant’s offense; and (2) damage or loss related to the defendant’s criminal episode.
However, the conduct of Leaving the Scene does not cause loss to the victim. The court held in, State v. Williams, 520 So.2d 276, 277 (Fla. 1988), that a defendant is not required to pay restitution to a victim where damages were not caused by the defendant leaving the scene of the accident. In this case, the defendant was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident with personal injuries. The court reasoned that the damages arising out of the accident would have occurred with or without the defendant committing the offense of leaving the scene of an accident.
We understand how traumatic being involved in an automobile accident can be, but we here at Mesic Law are here to help. If you have been charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident, let us fight for you.