The odds of getting in a West Palm Beach car accident with a driver who has a suspended license are pretty good these days, or at least better than they used to be before they changed the law for habitual offenders.
In July 2008, Florida legislature changed the law so that repeat offenders driving without a valid license could no longer be charged and sent to prison. Habitual traffic offenders are defined as drivers with at least four major traffic sentences.
Our West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys are concerned about the trend, particularly given that most of those driving without a license also have no insurance. With unemployment rates still on the mend, drivers are faced with difficult financial decisions. Failing to pay the car insurance premium may seem like a good idea when faced with the challenge. Other examples that cause a driver’s license to be suspended are failing to pay child support, charged with driving under the influence, or failure to pay traffic fines.
According to a recent article in Florida Today, drivers operating a vehicle without a valid license is becoming a legitimate concern in Florida. The article points out that offenders aren’t afraid because they know they won’t face prison time. It was reported that in early 2010, a man driving with a suspended license was pulled over and arrested on the charge he was a repeat traffic offender. In mid-May, the charge was dropped due to the fact that there was no probable cause to pull him over and was considered inadmissible in court.
Less than a week later, the same habitual offender hit a motorcycle while turning left on a green light at Wickham Road and U.S. 192. The motorcyclist sustained severe injuries leaving him in a coma for 2 months. His wife riding on the back of the bike was killed instantly.
This crash is one of many fatal crashes that found the at-fault driver in violation of driving with a suspended license last year in Florida. The victim in this case continues to rehabilitate after numerous surgeries while the driver continues forward uncharged. Prior to the May violation the driver had 5 suspensions on his record.
The likelihood of a hit-and-run accident occurs when the driver at fault panics. If you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident seek the advice of legal counsel so that you are informed of your rights.
Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC is an aggressive Law Firm dedicated to protecting the rights of personal injury victims. For a free and confidential appointment in West Palm Beach, Margate, Hollywood, Miami, or Port St. Lucie call 1-800-529-2368.