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Hit and Run in Florida

A Fort Lauderdale man is fighting for his life following a hit-and-run incident in Oakland Park, according to a report in the Sun-Sentinel.

The 22-year-old, Joseph Deverson, is in critical condition, according to the report, after being hit by a driver on Powerline Road in Oakland Park, Broward County. Deverson was hit in the evening, around 10:45 p.m., and he was riding a Go-Ped, which is a motorized scooter.

Investigators say they believe the Fort Lauderdale man was struck by a white 2013 or current BMW 6 series car, the report states. Police were able to identify some vehicle parts following the crash, providing some insight on what type of vehicle the driver was operating.

The report also states that the car in question probably is damaged on the front passenger side of the car. The bumper, hood, quarter panel and windshield could all have been damaged as a result of the crash, the report states.

Just a few days earlier in nearby Aventura, Florida, a decorated Vietnam War veteran was killed in an unrelated hit-and-run incident, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The man, Richard Flaherty, completed two combat tours as an Army Green Beret and was awarded five Purple Hearts as a result of his duty, the report states.

The 69-year-old died after being struck by a car in Aventura, the report states. Two nearby joggers discovered Flaherty, and police believe he was struck by the vehicle at about 3:30 a.m.

Police told the Sun-Sentinel that they’ve found the vehicle in question. The alleged driver is working with police as the investigation continues, the report states.

Florida Hit-and-Run Laws

In 2014, 1 in 4 crashes in Florida involved a hit and run, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The number of hit-and-run crashes in Florida has increased over the last several years. From 2013 to 2014, hit-and-run crashes that ended in fatalities went up by 24 percent, according to the Florida DMV. The number of all hit-and-run crashes in the state has increased by 7 percent during that same time period. What’s more, almost half of the hit-and-run fatalities involved pedestrians, the DMV reports.

As of summer 2014, Florida law pertaining to hit-and-run crashes changed, setting forth harsher penalties for drivers who do not stop to provide aid or help.

Florida law states (316.027) that a driver involved in a crash that causes injuries must stop to render aid to the person hurt and call for medical personnel immediately.

The new law has ramped up penalties for not doing so: If you leave the scene of a crash that resulted in serious injuries to another person, you are facing a 2nd degree felony. This was previously a mandatory 3rd degree felony.

The driver, if found guilty, would also face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 4 years if the other person involved ultimately dies of their injuries. They also face a driver’s license suspension of at least 3 years.

Injured by a hit-and-run driver?

If you’ve been injured by a hit and run driver in Fort Lauderdale, they will likely face criminal charges as a result. You are likely also eligible to file a personal injury claim to receive financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you’re seeking justice after what may have been a life-altering incident, contact Boone & Davis today.

Boone & Davis, Attorneys at Law is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and serves clients in and around Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Dania, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach and Broward County.

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