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Hit-and-Run Drivers Now Face More Serious Penalties in Florida

Nearly six months ago, Tina Exposito lost her daughter in a hit and run accident in Orange County, Florida. Exposito’s son and daughter were riding their bicycle at a bike crossing just after 3:00 am when a black Mercedes struck the two teens in the center lane.

Melanie and Travis Exposito were thrown from the bike and the driver of the Mercedes continued driving without any hesitation. The teens remained on the road until a Florida Highway Patrol officer spotted them and requested emergency services.

Today, Tina Exposito is pursuing a wrongful death claim against Kila Holland and her mother Nikki Holland, who are the registered owners of the Mercedes. No arrests have yet been made and an investigation is ongoing.

A successful wrongful death suit may award certain damages such as medical expenses, burial expenses, and mental pain and suffering. Before the recent passing of pedestrian safety law SB 102, though, Florida drivers who fled the scene faced minor penalties.  In some cases, drivers would only receive a few months in jail for leaving the scene.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd pushed the state of Florida to increase the penalties for drivers who leave the scene. Under the new pedestrian safety law, offenders who leave the scene of a crash resulting in serious bodily injury face severe penalties that include:

  • Second degree felony record
  • Mandatory prison term of four years
  • Minimum three year license revocation

If you have lost a loved one in a hit and run accident, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain fair compensation. By contacting an experienced attorney, you can receive a candid assessment of your case and professional guidance on filing a claim.