A car accident is usually considered a civil incident. When a car accident injury victim files a personal injury claim or seeks compensation through an insurance company in a lawsuit, it then becomes a civil case.
With that said, there are a few circumstances when a car accident becomes a criminal case. Such circumstances include:
Driving under the influence: DUI can lead to serious jail time and fees, especially if someone is injured or killed. According to Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), "Any person who causes property damage or personal injury to another while driving under the influence is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor (not more than $1,000 fine or one-year imprisonment)." DUI manslaughter can lead to a 15-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
- Hit-and-run: If a driver leaves the scene of an accident after causing the accident, they can potentially be charged with hit-and-run. Whether you rear end someone, hit a parked car, or even damage a street light, it's always in your best interest to call the police.
- Reckless driving: The State of Florida defines a reckless driver as "Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving." Serving, speeding, tailgating, and texting are considered reckless driving behaviors.
If you have been injured in a car accident or have questions about your specific circumstance, call Alisa Wilkes today. She is an AV-rated Jacksonville car accident lawyer.