When a car accident occurs, it is a frightening time for all involved. Your property is damaged, and injuries may occur during the accident. Even worse, death could occur. Being prepared for a car accident and working with a Florida car accident attorney when a crash does occur can help you get the compensation you deserve.
No-Fault Car Accident Laws in Florida
A Florida car accident attorney will work with you to help you determine who was at fault during your car crash. Florida is a no-fault state in regards to car accidents. This means that you will need to contact your insurance company for payment of your vehicle damages and injuries even if you were not at fault during the accident. Even though Florida is a no-fault state, you still have rights under the law to hold another driver liable for your losses especially if you were injured. A Florida car accident lawyer can help you determine the best course of action for your case and the best way to get you compensation for your injuries and losses. Car accident claims serving the Orange Park, Palatka, and Middleburg, Florida area can be filed against another driver if the permanent injury has occurred from the accident or if there has been scarring or disfigurement from the crash. This will allow you to work with a Florida car accident lawyer to file a suit outside the boundaries of the no-fault system in the state. You may also have the option to file a liability claim or personal injury suit depending on the circumstance of the case. An attorney can advise you on what your legal rights are when it comes to a car accident claim and help you navigate the legal system for your case.
It is a good idea to also take detailed notes when you are involved in a car accident. Be sure to note the date of the accident as well as the attending officer that you spoke with to provide your account of the accident. You will also want to write down the make, model, and license plate of all cars involved. Be sure to exchange insurance information with the other drivers and contact your insurance provider as soon as possible following the accident.If a car accident causes you injury, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Document your injuries with photos to show the severity of the injuries at the time to the accident. This may be important to your case should you take the other driver to court.
Ensure the other driver of the accident is not hurt and call for medical attention if they are. It is important to take care of all injuries before worrying about fault or liability in a car accident. If you don’t feel right after your car accident, seek medical attention. Some injuries from a car accident do not show up until a few days after the crash. You may have injuries that you were unaware of and need medical treatment for from the car accident.If you are incapacitated and unable to file an accident report with the police department, you are exempt from the law until you are physically able to do so. At this time, you will need to file an accident report. Failure to file a report can result in a $30 fine. It is also a state requirement to notify your insurance company of every car accident you are involved in with another driver.
Should I Accept a Settlement for My Florida Car Accident?
When the other driver is at fault in a car accident, you may be offered a settlement by their insurance company. It is important that you seek the advice of a Florida car accident lawyer before you accept or sign any legal documentation. Your attorney will help you determine if the settlement is fair or if the compensation offered does not cover the total cost of your injuries.Count on a FL car accident attorney to help you with your car accident settlement. They can get you the largest settlement for your injuries and make sure your case is handled properly and in accordance with the law. Your attorney will work with your insurance company as well as help investigate your car accident to determine where the fault occurred by the other driver. This can help your case significantly and prevent you from receiving a reduced settlement because you did not have the support you needed to prove your case.
Should I Admit Fault for My Florida Car Accident?
Even though you feel you have a clear idea of how the accident occurred, Keep in mind there may have been other circumstances that affected the crash that you may be unaware of. The other driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or they may have been distracted by texting on their phone, which could have caused the accident.This is why, though Florida is a no-fault state, it is still important not to admit your negligence in an accident even if you think it was your fault. If you take your car accident case to court, a judge, jury or insurance company may take these statements into account which could affect your settlement award. It is key that you report the facts of the car accident to the police. They will investigate the crash and determine who was responsible.
Statute Of Limitations for Car Accident Lawsuits In Florida
If your Florida auto accident attorney determines that you should file a suit against the other driver involved in your accident, there is a deadline for filing such a claim. If your car accident case involved personal injury or property damages, you would need to file your lawsuit within four years of the accident date according to the statute of limitations in the state of Florida.Only suits that involve serious or severe injuries can qualify for lawsuits because of the no-fault regulations the state has. If you wait longer than four years, your case will not be heard by the courts, causing you to lose out on any compensation coming to you. For this reason, it is imperative that you file your lawsuit in a timely manner and work with a Florida car accident lawyer to develop your case for the court.It is important to note that Florida uses a “pure comparative fault” law for car accident cases held in court. This takes into account your liability in the car accident which could affect part of your settlement claim. Your percentage of liability would be deducted from your total damages, leaving you the remaining balance or the percentage that you were not at fault for your settlement.
Car Accident Requirements in Florida
The law serving the Orange Park, Palatka, and Middleburg, Florida areas requires that every driver that has a registered vehicle have auto insurance. According to the law, they must hold at least a $10,000 personal injury coverage and $10,000 property damage liability. If you fail to have this insurance coverage and are unable to provide proof of insurance when you are involved in a car accident, you may be cited by a law enforcement official.In Florida, it is a requirement of the law to report any car accident that you are involved in with another driver. You need to contact the police department and ensure that the accident report includes who is at fault in the accident.
Compensation for Car Accidents in Florida
When determining the settlement award that you are entitled to for a car accident injury, many factors come into play. Your damages may include medical bills for current injury treatment as well as future medical care. You will need to have a doctor assess your injuries to determine the level of care you will need now as well as into the future. This will be significant in determining the amount of damages you are entitled to as part of your case.Lost Wage Compensation If you missed work because of the injuries sustained from a car accident, you might qualify for lost wage compensation. If you are unable to work because of your injuries or disability has occurred from the accident, your settlement reward will reflect these damages.Pain and Suffering
You are also entitled to pain and suffering for your injuries. Your settlement compensation will factor this in as a financial gain you deserve for being hurt at the hands of another.
Bear in mind that Florida law does not require drivers to carry bodily injury insurance, but your insurance may cover these damages. FL accident lawyers will be able to determine the best source to obtain compensation for your damages to ensure you do not have to worry about your finances while you recover from your injuries.
Car Accident Deaths in Florida
Some car accidents can be severe and can result in death. While this is a trying time for everyone involved, you need to be aware of your rights as a family member. Payment up to $10,000 for funeral arrangements for your lost loved one comes from your personal injury protection through your insurance company. While emotions run high during this especially confusing and sad time, having a Florida car accident lawyer help you through the process can ensure you receive compensation for your loss.You are able to file a suit against the offending parties and seek compensation for your loss and damages. Florida car accident lawyers can help file a wrongful death lawsuit for your family on behalf of your loved one and fight for your legal rights in court. While this can never replace your loved one, it can provide solace that you were able to hold the drive liable for your loved one’s death accountable for their actions.Personal injury protection is provided to every insured driver by their insurance company. This coverage allows for reimbursement of your own medical treatment for injuries sustained in a car accident. With personal injury protection, you automatically have coverage for your medical bills, prescriptions, lost wages, and mileage reimbursement to and from medical facilities. Personal injury protection pays a percentage of these costs as part of your insurance coverage under Florida law.
Should I Hire Florida Car Accident Attorney?
Hiring a Florida car accident attorney is beneficial to your car accident claim. They can negotiate with insurance companies to get you the maximum settlement you deserve and guide you through the legal process. Without an attorney by your side, you may be shortchanging yourself when it comes to an injury settlement.
A Florida car accident lawyer can help you recognize what a fair settlement for your injuries is and make sure you receive accurate compensation for your injuries. With an attorney to help you with your case, they can represent you in courts serving the Orange Park, Palatka, and Middleburg, Florida area. This can allow you to present your case as clearly as possible and prove liability of another driver in court.While court can be a time-consuming and arduous process, your car accident attorney in Florida can ensure the process goes as smooth as possible. In most cases, your attorney will be able to settle your claims out of court with insurance companies and get you a fair settlement for your injuries.If your case goes to court, your lawyer will represent you during your case and support you through the entire legal process. They will be able to advise you if court is the best decision for your car accident claims and help you to understand the law as it relates to your injuries.
If a car accident has caused damage to your property or injured you or a loved one, you need the help of a Florida car accident attorney. The attorneys at John Fagan can assist you in filing a claim against another driver and help you determine your fault, if any, in the case. Contact the law offices of John Fagan to set up a consultation today!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prepare for a possible car accident?
Hopefully you’ll never know how important preparation can be. But just in case, be sure you have these items in your glove box in the event you do find yourself the victim of a car accident.
- Driver’s license
- Proof of insurance
- Vehicle registration
- Cell phone
- Disposable camera
- Basic first aid kit
- Reflectors and/or flares
- Basic tool kit with screwdriver, pliers, etc.
- Jumper cables
- Fix a flat and/or a tire pump
- Important phone numbers such as the police, roadside assistance, etc.
- Note pad and pen
What should I do after a car accident?
Stop your vehicle and pull off to the side of the road if it’s safe to do so. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Engage in first aid if appropriate. If someone is seriously injured, don’t try to move him or her. Call 911 ASAP.
It’s important that injuries are tended to quickly and you must have the police available to help you document the accident properly. Get out your notepad and write down the time, date, weather and road conditions, a description of the vehicles involved, the car(s) license plate number, and notate any injuries or damages that you observe. Write down an account of what happened. Don’t worry about how well it is written, just write down what you remember happening as soon as you can. This is important because details can get mixed up later, so do this as soon as reasonably possible.
Take photos with your smart phone or disposable camera. Get pictures of any victims, the cars, the road condition, damage to either vehicle and so on. Make sure you get contact information for any eyewitnesses, officers on the scene and other professionals on the scene. Make sure you ask a copy of the police report. You will need to provide this to your insurance agent.
Contact your insurance company as soon as it is possible to do so to report the accident. If you think the other party is at fault, contact their insurance company as well. But, remember your rights! You are not required to give statements to the other insurance company.
And finally, contact an experienced, effective orange park accident lawyer to be sure that you get the fairest treatment allowed by the law.
The insurance company sent me a check. Should I accept it?
No. Not before talking with your attorney. Accepting a check might be taken as a Not before speaking with an attorney. Accepting a check may be construed you’re your agreement to settle for that amount. It could prevent you from getting any additional amounts that you could be entitled to from the at-fault drive and/or their insurance company.
Didn’t Florida’s no-fault law expire?
Yes and no. The law did expire on 10/10/07 but the requirement for Florida motor vehicle operators to carry personal injury protection, also known as PIP coverage, was reinstated on 1/1/2008.
Can I still win an accident claim even if the accident was my fault?
In Florida, if you have PIP insurance, your PIP carrier might be required to pay the first $10,000 of any claim that is related the vehicle accident, regardless of fault.
I was a passenger in a friend’s car and he caused an accident? Should I sue my friend?
His insurance company could be required to pay for your damages if he has bodily injury protection under his policy. They could also be responsible to hire an attorney to defend him if a suit is filed.