Every year, Florida records thousands of car crashes and accidents. The state has special laws that guide and regulate car accident situations. If unfortunately, you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, it is pertinent that you know the following action to take and how to go about it. Taking the wrong step or even doing nothing immediately may be detrimental to you and even lead to a loss of entitlement to your rights.
The purpose of this article is to give you detailed and concise information on what Florida laws say about car accidents. Endeavour to have a better understanding of what to do in such a situation and know from whom and where to get help.
What You Should Do When Involved in a Car Accident in Florida
Car crashes are unplanned and sudden and, in most cases, leave you disorganised and confused about what to do next. Some basic things you should perform are listed below.
Get To Safety
Your safety comes first before any other thing when an accident occurs. After an accident has occurred, do not remain in the vehicle, especially where the car is parked in the middle of the road. If you are badly injured, remain still and do not attempt to move out on your own. Call out and wait for the assistance of others around you.
After a car crash, endeavour to assemble enough information that may be of help or be needed in the future. Information such as the insurance provider of the other driver where it is a case of two cars colliding will be needed to know who to get across to for indemnity. In addition to that, gather the details of the other driver and take accounts of eyewitnesses around if there are any. If it is possible, also capture images of the scene of the accident as it may be needed to prove damage in court.
Report the Incident
The law in Florida requires you to file a report for incidents of a car crash in the following circumstances:
- Where the accident leads to physical wounds.
- Where the accident leads to loss of life.
- Where the accident causes property destruction of $500 or more.
The law obliges you to provide a written report of incidents under any of the above circumstances to the police immediately. You will incur certain financial consequences upon yourself if you fail to do this. Note that putting a phone call across to the police may suffice as reporting, and a follow-up statement may not be required of you anymore. Failure to do this will leave you liable to pay a fine of at least $30 in Florida.
If you are party to an accident that leaves persons injured or leads to death, it is a crime in Florida to leave the accident scene without reporting it to the police. If you are indicted of this crime, you may be looking at imprisonment. Keep in mind that you only have ten days from the day the incident occurred to make a report to the police.
Notify your Insurance Provider
In Florida, every motor vehicle driver must take out security coverage for the car. This is referred to as the no-fault car insurance system in Florida. Usually, under the insurance coverage, you have the personal injury protection(PIP) that insulates you and the persons involved in the accident. Under this insurance coverage in Florida is also the Property Damage Liability (PDL) which comes in when you destroy the property of another person in a car accident.
This no-fault rule in Florida simply means that when a car crash occurs, the drivers involved in the accident are to first rely on the personal injury protection security that they took on the vehicle when registering it. The PIP is meant to cover the bills and compensate the victim of the crash. This is why after an accident, you should notify your insurance company of the necessary details of the crash.
Your insurance policy should be able to state the extent to which you are entitled to compensation. Usually, the insurance company will carry out its investigations into the accident and determine whether or not the insurance policy covers the damages. Where it does, they go ahead to examine to what extent the coverage will be. These investigations by the insurance company must be carried out immediately. So you must inform them quickly to avoid problems arising.
The Pure Comparative Fault Rule in Florida
Most times, in a car accident situation, the other driver may ultimately be at fault. In Florida, where such is the case, that driver will be entirely liable to compensate you for damages incurred. In some situations also, both drivers involved in the accident may be at fault for it. What then will be done in such a situation?
This is where the pure comparative fault rule in Florida comes in. Where it is shown that it is the negligence of both or all drivers involved that caused the accident, then all parties are said to have contributed to the accident. You will be held accountable to the extent of your contribution to it. The jury, with the evidence placed before them, must carefully evaluate the proportion of fault of the parties involved. Each party will be liable to compensate the other for damages to the extent of your fault.
The Statute of Limitation for Car Accidents in Florida
A statute of limitation refers to the time limit within which a matter should be brought before the court. Usually, you do not have the luxury all the time in the world to bring certain issues to court. The law, in most cases, States a time limit in which if you fail to file within that time limit, you automatically lose your right to do so after the time has elapsed.
If you are the victim of a vehicle accident in Florida and wish to sue for damages or compensation, you must file this matter before the court within 4 years after the accident. Failure to do so will result in the loss of your right to be compensated. This is why you should reach out to a car accident attorney in Florida immediately after the crash.
Car Accidents Attorney in Florida
A car accident attorney handles matters about car accidents and other personal injury cases. The need for one when an accident occurs cannot be overemphasised. Once you are involved in a car crash in Florida, you would do well to reach out to a car accident attorney to help you in your journey to seek damages.
With our Attorney Matching Services, you will get easily and quickly connected with a reliable car accident attorney in Florida. You can be connected to the leading attorneys in your area today and be rest assured to get a car accident attorney who will guide you properly on this journey.
Q: Do I still need to give a written report of a car crash if the police investigated it?
Ans: No, where the crash was investigated by the police, you are not obligated to report it anymore and will not be liable if you do not.
Q: How many days do I have to give written notice to the place?
Ans: You have 10 days from the day of the accident to do this.
Q: Can I be charged to court personally for a car crash in Florida?
Ans: Yes, you can. As a result, it’s always a good idea to hire the services of a car accident attorney in Florida immediately after a crash occurs.
Q: Are there cases where I can still sue for damages from a car accident even after 4 years in Florida?
Ans: Yes, there are some exceptions to the 4-year statute of limitation for car accident matters. Do well to get in touch with a car accident attorney in Florida.
Q: I still have some questions about car accidents in Florida. Who can I get across to?
Ans: You can contact a car accident attorney in Florida for further questions.