Why report a car accident in Florida?
In the state of Florida, you need to immediately contact law enforcement for accidents involving an injury, death, or property damage greater than $500 (Sec. 316.065). The police officer will submit a report for these types of accidents. For accidents that do not require a police report or where no police investigation was conducted, the driver needs to file a crash report within ten days (Sec. 316.066).
When you are in a safe spot on the side of the road, you must offer proper help to anyone who is injured and exchange personal, vehicle, and insurance information with the other. If required, you should also get the names and contact info for any witnesses, document weather, and road conditions, and take photographs of the vehicles. In front of an investigating officer, never assume responsibility for the accident at this point. Even when you feel responsible, the facts might show that you were not actually at fault.
What are the basic Florida Car Insurance Laws?
The state of Florida has a no-fault insurance system. This implies that each driver’s medical bills and related expenses are covered first by his or her own insurance carrier, regardless of fault. As far as property damage is concerned, you can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Every driver must carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and $10,000 of property damage liability insurance.
When you are home safe after an accident, you should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. However, you can check your policy to see what the exact deadline is. Also, don’t wait to see a doctor, but do hold off on car repairs if possible. Keep in mind that your insurance company may want to inspect the damage or have you go to an approved repair shop.
Car Accident Settlements in Florida
At the time of a settlement, the injured person agrees to a payment amount from the insurance company or another driver. In exchange, he gives up the right to pursue any further legal action in connection with the accident. The willingness to settle and the amount offered after a car accident will depend heavily on the evidence supporting your case. Thus, witness statements, police reports, and other documentation are vital in these negotiations.
The insurance companies might not engage in unfair or deceptive practices. These practices include failing to pay valid claims for personal injury protection or failing to properly investigate a claim. However, their primary job is to look out for the business interests of the insurance company. In order to settle a claim, the insurance company may want you to sign a release which states that you won’t file more claims related to the same accident.
Average Car Accident Settlement in Florida
It is a fact that every car accident case is unique. So, the settlement amount varies case by case, mostly depending on the nature of the accident. Here are some of the relevant factors to consider, however:
-The nature and seriousness of your injuries
-Costs of reasonable and necessary medical expenses
-Loss of past and future wages
-The types of insurance coverage both parties have
-The amount of evidence and documentation you provide
-Your or your attorney’s ability to argue your case
Florida follows the “pure comparative negligence” doctrine. It implies that damages are barred or reduced according to your degree of fault.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Florida: How long to wait?
Because Florida is a no-fault state, you must have a serious accident case in order to pursue a personal injury legal claim against an at-fault driver. The deadline for filing a personal injury or property damage complaint is four years from the date of the car accident.
The length of the legal process is based on the details of your accident and the extent of injuries.
On the basis of the nature of your injuries, your first consultation may take place in our offices or we can come to you at home or in your hospital room. This is the meeting where you are guided through a frank discussion of your situation. This includes the details of the accident, who you believe was at fault and the extent of your injuries so that we can present one or more of the following options:
No-fault insurance claim
When your personal injury clearly falls within the range of your policy, you might be required to file a claim with your own insurance company. The liability for the accident does not matter here. These claims are usually handled quickly and efficiently. However, if you experience delays or denials for your claim, we remain available to intercede on your behalf.
If your injuries exceed your policy limits or if your car accident was complicated by multiple liable parties or the special considerations involved with liability on the part of a commercial trucking company, the attorneys might be able to negotiate a settlement out of court to save time. He also intends to pursue the full compensation you deserve. In usual, an average case can take a year or more.
When you take a case to court, it can take significant time. However, serious car accidents may require the court to help ensure you can pursue the full expenses associated with your injuries. This is more prominent when you face long-term or permanent disability.
The insurer usually refuses to send a check until it has received a “release” signed by the injured party. The release is a binding legal document that states that in exchange for accepting the offered settlement money, the injured party will not pursue any other claims for damages caused by the accident.
When you are satisfied that your medical condition is resolved, sign and send the release with a letter indicating that you expect to receive the check in the immediate future.