Are people required to report car accidents in Florida? Unless the accident was very minor, the answer is most likely yes. Florida law requires drivers to report most accidents that occur on the road. If you have been involved in an auto accident, then it is important that you speak to an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
Florida Accident Reporting Requirements
Florida law requires drivers to report any accident that:
- Causes bodily injury,
- Causes death,
- Causes more than $500 in property damage,
- Was a hit and run; or
- Was caused by an intoxicated driver.
Drivers have ten days from the date of the accident to report the accident with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If the accident is not reported within this time, then the drivers can face a noncriminal traffic ticket.
To report the accident, a driver must fill out a crash report form which includes such things as:
- The time and place of the accident;
- Driver’s license information;
- An accident diagram, detailing what happened; and
- Names and phone numbers of all drivers involved.
This is only a partial list of the information that a crash report is required to have. To report your accident online, you can do so with the state of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website here. If the accident is a hit and run, the driver that failed to stop can face criminal sanctions.
Florida Car Insurance Facts & Requirements
Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to car insurance. Under no-fault, when an auto accident occurs, you are to file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. Every Florida driver is required to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP coverage is designed to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other associated expenses that result from a car accident up to a certain point. In Florida, your PIP coverage will cover up to 80% of your medical expenses, and up to 60% of your lost wages up to a limit of $10,000.
If you suffer a serious injury from an auto accident, then you may be able to file a claim against the other driver and their insurance company. To be eligible to sue the other driver, the injuries sustained must be permanent, life-threatening, or very serious. If you are able to prove that the other driver was negligent, then the driver of your car may be able to recover money for things such as lost future wages, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
After moving to safety when possible, it is important to first make sure that everyone is ok and not injured. If anyone is injured, then it is important to call 911 immediately for help. It is not your responsibility to help someone injured in an accident, but you may choose to do so at your own risk. It is important to take a lot of pictures of everything related to the crash, as the more evidence that you have in a claim, the stronger that claim will be. Make sure to speak to any witnesses if you can and get their names and phone numbers. When possible, go to the doctor to be checked for any injuries. If you have suffered injuries or property damage as a result of the accident, then it is important to speak to an attorney to get their advice on what to do next.
What Types of Money Damages Are Available in Florida?
Several different expenses that are the result of an auto accident can result in money compensation; they include:
- Medical expenses
- Future related medical expenses
- Lost Wages
- Lost Future Wages
- Property damage
Other damages can include things such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. If you have suffered permanent injury or disfigurement because of an auto accident, then you can also be entitled to money damages.
What Happens When I File an Insurance Claim?
After you file an insurance claim, the insurance company will assign an adjuster who will investigate your case. This person will speak with you about the accident and will speak with any witnesses and inspect any property damage. They will look into any police reports and will make a determination of who they think is at fault, and what money damage you are eligible to receive. Adjusters typically work for insurance companies, so don’t expect that they will be ready to give you all that you are asking for. In most cases, people need the assistance of an attorney to get the maximum amount of compensation that they are owed from an insurance company. People often are faced with dealing with attorneys for insurance companies even before they have filed a claim. These attorneys have a significant interest in making sure that any payouts that are made are the lowest possible to help the company’s bottom line.
Florida Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the amount of time you are given by law to file a claim. Different situations have different statutes of limitations. For auto accidents in Florida, you have up to four years from the date of an accident to file your claim. If you file your claim past the deadline, then the court will likely refuse to hear your case. There are a few exceptions to the statute of limitations rules, but they are specific and uncommon. If you have a potential claim, make sure that you jump on it early so you can make your strongest claim possible.
The team at Brian Guralnick Injury Lawyers Demand More® and so should you. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident in or around West Palm Beach, FL then it is important to you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case. At our office, we do this free of charge. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us today or contact us online. Isn’t it time that you Demand More®?