My client lives in Gulfport and is retired. He was heading home when he lost control of his car and crashed into a solar panel that was used to control a light. He drove on a mile or two before he stopped. Another driver called 911 and the Gulfport Police Department responded.
Once the police arrived, my client reported that he was having a health issue. He was checked out by paramedics and released. The police issued him a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident. He had never been in trouble before, so he was obviously concerned.
My client hired me and I advised him to immediately report the incident to his insurance company. I told him that he needed to cooperate with his insurance company and encourage them to pay quickly. The solar panel was owned by Pinellas County, so it took a while for the claim to be processed. In the meantime, I had him complete ADI school. Eventually, the restitution was paid in full by his insurance company.
I sent everything to the State Attorney and asked for a reduction to a civil infraction. I submitted proof of the ADI school and proof that the insurance company paid for the damage to the solar panel. They agreed to the amendment. The charge was reduced to a civil infraction called failure to report an accident. There was a withhold of adjudication (meaning no points) and the fine was $116. He never even had to step foot in court.
My client was very pleased to be done with the case and to have avoided a misdemeanor on his record.