Can You Go to Jail for Accidentally Killing Someone in a Car Accident?

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The short answer is yes. Florida recognizes a few felonies which occur when someone causes the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle in a manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

Vehicular Homicide in Florida

Under Florida law, vehicular homicide occurs when a person causes the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm. The central question is whether the driver knowingly drove in such a manner and under conditions likely to cause death or bodily harm. Generally, the minimum sentence will be at least 9-1/4 years in prison.

Vehicular Homicide without Providing Information or Rendering Aid

Florida also recognizes an enhanced form of vehicular homicide that occurs when the driver in a vehicular homicide fails to provide their information or to render aid at the accident scene. This type of vehicular homicide is punished by up to thirty years in prison.

DUI Enhancement

Florida prosecutors can also add a DUI enhancement to a vehicular homicide charge. On the other hand, the charge can be DUI manslaughter. DUI manslaughter requires a four-year minimum sentence. If convicted, drivers will also permanently lose their licenses.

Call Us Today to Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer in Orlando

If someone you love was killed in a car accident, or you were a driver who killed someone, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney immediately. To schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable fatal car accident attorney, contact us online or call our offices today at 866-225-5663.

Death in a Car Accident FAQs

Can I recover compensation for my injuries?

Yes, you can recover your actual damages, such as medical expenses for the victim. When someone in the accident dies, there are also possible damages for losses relating to that person’s lifetime income, the loss of companionship faced by the victim’s family, and other similar losses.

Will the Driver Face Criminal Charges too?

Yes, it is possible to face criminal charges and to be sued in a civil court at the same time. The victim’s family will need to recover their monetary and other losses and can do so through a civil lawsuit. However, depending on the facts and circumstances, the driver may be charged with some form of vehicular homicide or DUI manslaughter. One kind of action does not preclude the other.

Do I Need a Lawyer When a Death Results from a Car Accident?

If you have lost someone in a car accident or were the driver in a fatal car accident, it is imperative that you contact a lawyer with experience in fatal car accidents as soon as possible. Call us today at 407-974-4926 to schedule a consultation.


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