Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Florida

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, a car accident occurs every minute of every day. It is estimated that all drivers will probably be involved in at least four car accidents in their lifetimes, with nearly 1.5 million car crashes resulting in injury. Even if you think it won’t happen to you, statistically, it most likely will.

A Quick Overview of the Sunshine State’s No-Fault Law

According to the state laws 2022, vehicle owners in Florida are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP coverage should be at least $10,000, which will cover medical costs and lost wages. A minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability coverage is also recommended for motorists.

Motorists should be covered by these policies regardless of who caused the Florida automobile accident. It is important to note, however, that they only protect the policyholder and not the other party involved in the accident.

What to do if you get into a car accident in Florida? If you get into a car accident that wasn’t your fault, your own PIP and PDL will cover you. You may be able to sue the at-fault driver if it’s a case of negligence.

An example would be if one of the drivers sustained permanent injuries in the crash. Traumatic brain injuries may also be the result of the negligence of the at-fault driver.

Here is what you should do after a car accident now that you understand how auto insurance works in the state.

What to Do After a Car Accident in Florida

It is important to know what to do immediately following a car accident in Florida. Here are four crucial steps you need to follow legal process, ensuring neither party requires emergency services.

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There are over 15 million licensed drivers in Florida alone. It’s true! Furthermore, there are 570,000 motorcycles registered in the state!

Car accidents in the Sunshine State are quite common due to the large number of vehicles, weather conditions, and highway safety. The number of road crashes in Florida in 2017 was 388,032.

Therefore, you should know what to do if you get into a Florida car accident. Especially since the state has a “no-fault” system.

It’s nothing to worry about, though, as we’ll explain everything here. Read on to find out what to do following a car accident in Florida!

Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Florida

The initial shock of a serious auto crash (not just a fender bender) can make it difficult to focus on what you need to do and how you should do it. You’re trying to figure out what happened, whose fault it was, and whether you’re injured. Despite how difficult it may be, you need to concentrate. 

  • Step 1: The first and most important step is to remain on the accident scene. Florida law requires it, and failure to comply could result in serious criminal charges such as hit-and-run. It’s important to remember that the crash isn’t the crime; fleeing is. Additionally, Florida law requires the affected parties to report the accident to the police if it involves damages exceeding $500. If you’re not sure, it’s best to self-report and file an accident report, regardless of criminal history. 
  • Step 2: The best thing to do next is to preserve the scene of the accident as much as possible. However, it’s crucial to move vehicles that are blocking traffic; just remember to take careful note of their position. Photographs are your best bet. 
  • Step 3: Finally, gather information. Exchange insurance information with the other driver. Each driver must provide all affected parties with their name, address, location info, contact, license plate, vehicle identification number, and driver’s license, as well as any facts necessary to determine the cause of the accident for the police report. 
  • Step 4: Be sure to obtain any contact information from any potential witnesses to the crash, and look out for any traffic cameras or other cameras around that may have captured the accident. 

Another thing to look out for is anything that may have obstructed the views or something wrong with the road. This is particularly important if there is a question about who is at fault for this accident. Having these details can help your case. 

Defense Line After a Auto Accident Florida

It is important that you do not volunteer any additional information or apologize for the accident; that’s admitting fault. Speak with an experienced car accident attorney first. Once you’re given clearance to leave the scene, if you believe you require medical treatment, go to a doctor and get treated; sometimes the lawyer will give a referral to the doctor. (Sometimes, personal primary physicians don’t want to become involved in accident cases.) This is essential not only for yourself but also for your case. From here your lawyer will work toward a fair solution with the insurance companies, their lawyers, and anyone else involved in the situation. 

During your case, it is probable that everyone involved in the case or anyone who witnessed the incident will have to give a deposition. A deposition is a question-and-answer session where parties, or their attorneys, ask the witness or witnesses questions they must answer under oath. This can be nerve-racking but there’s no need to fear, a great lawyer is there to help prepare you and be there with you during the session. 

There comes a time when we must decide if we want to file a lawsuit on your case. In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits is four years from the day the visible injuries occurred. This is to protect people from being sued for very old injuries when valuable evidence is gone, and memories have faded. The sooner, the better, however. 

Most car accident lawsuits are based on a negligence car accident claim; you have to demonstrate the other driver failed to practice reasonable care while driving their vehicle. Easier cases to prove include ones where the driver was driving recklessly, breaking traffic laws, or intoxicated. 

Also, it’s recommended to ask for professional advice from a lawyer dealing with car accidents in your area. It will significantly increase your chances of resolving your personal injury claim.

FAQ

What does no-fault mean in law?

Which states are no fault states? What does the term “no fault state” mean and what does it mean for you? There are some states that have their own no fault insurance laws, which means that regardless of who is at fault in an accident, your insurance company will cover the damages to your car up to a particular limit, regardless of who is at fault.

What is the advantage of a no-fault system for states?

The premiums and deductibles for your no-fault insurance policy are your financial responsibility, regardless of whether you caused the accident or not. As a result of no-fault laws, lawsuits arising from car accidents are limited in these states. There is no limit to the number of lawsuits that can be filed in states that have at-fault insurance.

Who pays for car damage in a no-fault state Florida?

Laws governing no-fault car insurance in Florida is fairly simple. Florida is a no-fault state, which means that each driver has his or her own insurance that will cover medical bills and car repairs up to a certain amount. According to Florida Statutes * 627.736 drivers are required to carry a policy which covers them for personal injury protection and property damage up to a maximum of $10,000.

Bottom Line

Most cases are settled outside of the courtroom, but we at PainWorth are happy to go to court if an agreement cannot be made between us and the insurance company’s attorneys. Each case is unique and needs to be looked at individually to determine what the best approach is. We are ready and determined to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Article by Jordan Ostroff

Jordan Ostroff is the lawyer from Florida, Founding Partner of the law firm Jordan Law and President of the marketing agency for lawyers Legal Ease. The lack of good marketing in the law firms in the U.S. pushed Jordan to take interest in this sphere and help other firms to acquire that success as well.

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