If you are caught in the aftermath of a Florida car accident injury claim, it’s essential to be well-informed about the legal intricacies that can significantly impact your case. Car accidents can be overwhelming and traumatic experiences, and when they happen in Florida, there are some important facts you should be aware of, especially if you’re considering filing a car accident injury claim.
From legal obligations to insurance requirements and the complexities of comparative fault, this blog will delve into five crucial aspects of Florida car accident injury claims that you might not know.
Florida Law Requires You to Stop If Anyone Is Injured
In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s essential to understand your legal obligations as a driver in Florida. Florida law mandates that all drivers involved in an accident must stop at the scene to assist anyone who’s injured. Moreover, if the accident results in injuries or property damage exceeding $500, it must be reported to local law enforcement, including the police, sheriff, or highway patrol.
If injuries are sustained in the accident, you’re not only obligated to stay at the scene but also to exchange information with all parties involved. This information typically includes names, addresses, and vehicle registration details. While not legally required, collecting the contact information of any witnesses who observed the accident is wise.
Additionally, note weather and road conditions, and take photos of the damage to all vehicles involved. These photos can be invaluable when submitting an accident report to your insurance company. Importantly, when filing the report, stick to stating the facts without admitting fault or blaming the other driver. If your vehicle blocks traffic, move it to the side or arrange a tow service to avoid violating Florida law.
Florida Car Accident Injury Claims Have a Statute of Limitations
Time is of the essence when it comes to filing car accident injury claims in Florida. If you’ve suffered injuries or property damage due to another driver’s negligence, you have a limited window of opportunity. In general, you have up to two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. However, it’s crucial to note that claims against government entities, such as city bus operators, must be filed within a shorter timeframe — 90 days from the incident.
Moreover, if you were injured, but the full extent of the damage was not apparent until later, Florida Statute § 95.11(4)(d) also gives you two years to file when your injuries related to the accident are diagnosed. Failing to adhere to these time limits can jeopardize your ability to seek compensation.
Florida Insurance Requirements Are Low
Florida requires all drivers to carry car insurance and maintain proof of insurance. However, the minimum insurance coverage required by law in Florida is relatively low. Drivers are obligated to have at least $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL). PIP covers non-property-related costs such as personal injury and lost wages.
Florida operates under a “no-fault” system, meaning that each person’s insurance company is responsible for covering their own accident expenses, regardless of who is at fault. If the damages or injuries in an accident exceed the limits of your insurance policy, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek additional compensation.
Remember that promptly reporting any auto accident to your insurer is crucial. Insurance companies make fault determinations based on the information provided in your crash report or any existing police reports. Be cautious about signing any releases from the insurance company that could prevent you from pursuing additional claims if you’re uncertain whether the claim amount will cover your injuries and property damage.
Florida Is a Comparative Fault State
In Florida, even if both drivers are found to be at fault in an accident, you may still have the option to file an insurance claim. The state follows a “pure comparative fault” system, which means that if you are partially at fault for an accident, your recovery will be diminished proportionately.
For instance, let’s say you were involved in an accident where the total damages amount to $10,000. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that you were 40 percent at fault for the collision. In Florida’s comparative fault system, you would still have the right to seek compensation for the portion of damages attributable to the other party’s negligence. In this case, you would be eligible to pursue 60 percent of the damages, which equals $6,000.
This system offers a degree of protection for drivers who may share some responsibility for an accident, allowing them to pursue compensation for the portion of damages attributable to the other party’s negligence.
Several Factors Determine Florida Car Accident Injury Claim Settlements
Florida civil courts consider the severity of your injuries, the cost of medical care, lost wages due to the injuries, the degree of fault, your insurance coverage, and the quality of evidence presented in your case.
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Florida, it’s advisable to consult a qualified car accident attorney who is well-versed in Florida auto accident laws. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complexities of your case and work to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Get Help with Your Florida Car Accident Injury Claim
Navigating the legal landscape of Florida car accident injury claim can be challenging, but you don’t have to go through it alone. RRBH Law is here to provide you with the support and guidance you need. Our team of experienced car accident attorneys in Florida specializes in offering comprehensive legal assistance, serving communities across the Greater Miami Area and throughout the state of Florida.
Contact us at 305-800-4663 for a free case evaluation, and let us help you navigate the path toward fair compensation and recovery. Your well-being and legal rights are our top priorities.