Guide to Florida Car Accident LawsTampa Bay Legal News
After taking driver’s education, the majority of motorists will never think again about vehicle accident laws until they are involved in a crash. If you are someone who wants to refresh their memory, or if you are a new driver who wants to learn the rules, this short guide will be a helpful tool for understanding Florida’s legal guidelines for car accidents.
Laws for Reporting
Section 324.242(2) of Florida’s Statutes states that any car accident with over 500$ of damage must be reported to the police. If you fail to do so in the moment, you can still notify the Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles by going online and filling out this form: https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/.
If injuries occur, the law requires you to stay at the scene of the accident until authorities arrive. The law also requires that you take all the necessary contact information (name, address, phone number, vehicle registration number, insurance numbers) with the other parties involved.
Florida law does not require you to take photos of the damage or to get the contact information of witnesses, but these should be mentioned as important steps to take after any accident.
Laws for Insurance
Florida Law requires all drivers to purchase car insurance and carry proof of insurance with them in their vehicle at all times. Before registering your vehicle, you will be asked to show proof of an insurance policy with at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 of Property Damage Liability (PDL). Florida is a “no-fault” state, meaning that no matter whose fault the accident is, each party’s insurance company will pay for its own damages and expenses.
In the case that the financial cost of damages or injuries is greater than the insurance policy, you may have the right to hire a personal injury lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party to seek compensation. It is important to inform your insurance company of an accident soon after it happens. These companies often use the official crash report filed by the police to determine fault.
Determining Car Accident Settlements
If insurance doesn’t cover all the damages and expenses that are the result of a car accident, the issue can be taken to civil court. These cases can be very complicated but are often settled long before going to trial. The factors that could be involved in a personal injury settlement include reimbursing the cost of medical expenses, legal expenses, the loss of current or future wages, and the determination of responsibility for the accident.
Even if both the drivers involved in the accident were at fault, Florida law dictates that both can file a valid claim based on a comparison of the crash. If driver one was responsible for 80% of $10,000 worth of damage, driver one would still be entitled to 20% or $2000 of compensation. This is called the comparative fault system. Cases like these are complicated, and engaging with a Florida car accident lawyer can greatly increase your chances of a fair result.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash you may be entitled to some compensation. Reaching out to a legal professional is the first step in reaching a settlement. Initial consultations with the civil litigation attorneys at Fulgencio Law are always free. Call today at (813) 463-0123 to schedule a time to discuss your case with a legal professional.