It’s important for every driver to have a basic understanding of their state auto accident laws because you never know whether you may get into an accident. For those living in Florida, here’s what you need to know.
How to Report an Accident
Any accidents resulting in injuries or damages over $500 must be reported to your local law enforcement agency. If there are injuries, you must remain at the accident scene. Always make sure you exchange name, address, phone number, and VIN with the other driver. If at all possible, also obtain the names and numbers of any witnesses, take note of the weather conditions and take photos of the vehicles’ final resting spot.
Since Florida is a “no fault” state your insurance pays the first $10,000 of medical expenses regardless of who’s at fault. Nevertheless, you must still report any accident to your insurance immediately. Please never ever, sign a release from an insurance company without consulting with an attorney. You don’t know if your insurance will cover all your injuries and any property damage that you’ve sustained. If sign a release, you forgo any future law suit and may be short changing yourself. As a driver in Florida you are responsible for carrying car insurance with:
- A minimum of $10,000 For personal injury protection (PIP)
- A minimum of $10,000 For property damage liability (PDL)
- this pays for non-property related costs (e.g. personal injury, lost wages)
Statute of Limitations
When you’re injured in a car accident or have suffered property damages because the other driver was negligent, Florida’s auto accident law clearly states that you have up to four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you get into an accident with a government entity (e.g. a city bus), you must file a 6 month notice of intent to make a claim before you can make a claim.
Comparative Fault Rules
There are times when both you and the other driver may be found partially at fault. Even if are partially at fault, you may still be able to make a claim. Each situation is different so it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the crash. Evidence needs to be preserved and witness statements taken.
How Accident Settlement Amounts are Determined
When your injury claim is made there are a variety of factors that are taken into consideration to determine case value. Some of the items that are considered include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The cost of the medical care for said injuries
- If you have lost wages or will do so in the future
- How much of the fault is yours
- The amount of the insurance coverage
- How much evidence you can provide in support of your case
- Impact size
- Whether you’ve been in prior accidents and have been injured.
How to get Help When You’re in an Accident
When you’re involved in an accident the first number you should call is 911. They’ll help you get your car towed, take anyone who’s injured to the hospital, and allow you to calmly exchange information with the other driver. Your next call should be to the professionals at the Rojas’ Law Group. Attorney Rojas experience with the Florida’s auto accident laws will enable you to move smoothly through what could otherwise be a very troubling process.
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