If you drive in Florida, you should have a well-rounded understanding of this state’s traffic and auto accident laws, just in case you may be involved in a collision. Whether you are a new driver or simply want to brush up on your driver’s education, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about Florida’s legal guidelines below.
Laws for Reporting a Car Accident in Florida
In Florida, the law requires that all drivers must stop at the scene of the accident just in case there are any people injured and in need of assistance. You must also report the accident to local law enforcement if the collision causes more than $500 worth in injuries or damages.
If anyone involved got injured, you are legally required to stay at the scene of the collision and exchange contact information with every party involved. While the law does not require it, it would be in your best interest to obtain contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident. Because they may come into play later on, it would also be helpful to note the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident.
Make sure to properly document any damage to all the motor vehicles involved in the collision. Once you report the accident to your insurance company, it is essential to attach the pictures and videos and simply state the facts of the crash. There is no reason to admit any fault on your behalf or blame any other drivers until the insurance company analyzes all necessary information.
If your car is blocking traffic after the accident, you must move your vehicle out of the way. If this is not possible on your own, call a tow service and arrange for them to move your car out of traffic’s way. You must move your vehicle out of the way because failure to do so violates Florida traffic laws.
Insurance Requirements in Florida
Like many other states, it is required that all Florida drivers purchase car insurance and have proof of their insurance in their vehicle at all times. More specifically, Florida law specifies that drivers must have at least $10,000 for PIP (personal injury protection) and $10,000 for PDL (property damage liability). If you don’t know what these two are, PIP essentially accounts for non-property related costs, including but not limited to personal injury and lost wages.
Also, it is important to note that Florida is a “no-fault” state. In other words, every person’s insurance company is responsible for their own expenses, no matter who caused the accident. However, you may have the legal right to sue for any additional damages if your insurance policy does not cover all of the damage or injuries caused by another party. If this is the case, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Immediately following the accident, you must report any vehicular accident to your insurance company. After receiving all of the information and evidence provided in the crash report or police report, the insurance company will then determine the party at fault.
Steer clear of signing any release paperwork provided by your insurance company that states you won’t pursue any additional claims for the accident, especially if you are unsure that the claim will be able to cover your injuries and property damage. Do not sign this before speaking to an experienced attorney.
Statute of Limitations
You have up to two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit regarding any injuries or property damage you may have obtained while the other party was negligent or driving under the influence.
However, if you have been involved in a collision with a government entity (e.g., bus operator), you must file your case within 90 days.
Suppose you experience the full extent of your injuries related to your incident later on. In that case, the statute of limitations (two-year time limit) will begin when your accident-related injuries are discovered and diagnosed.
Florida’s Pure Comparative Fault Rules
In Florida, you can still file an insurance claim even if both drivers are at fault for the car accident. This is because Florida complies with the “pure comparative fault” system, which means that “contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes proportionately the amount rewarded as economic and non-economic damages for an injury attributable to the claimant’s contributory fault but does not bar recovery.”
In other words, if you are at fault of 70% of the accident resulting in $10,000 in damages, you may still be able to sue for the remaining 30% ($3,000).
How to Determine Car Accident Settlement Costs
When determining a car accident’s settlement amount, Florida civil courts take several factors into account. For example, they may consider how serious the injuries were, the most of medical care for said injuries, whether the injuries cost you current or future wages, the degree of the party’s fault, how much the insurance company will cover, and the amount of evidence you and your attorney provide for the case.
If you would like to discuss your car accident case with an experienced attorney, call The Injury Assistance Law Firm at (321) 234-2900 today.
Injury Assistance Law Firm is a personal injury claims lawyer in Orlando. As an Orlando personal injury lawyer, we know what it takes to win a case against an insurance company, and we can provide you with all the help you need to feel confident in your case. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.