Car accidents can be a traumatic experience for those involved, and it can be confusing to navigate the legal process that follows. In Florida, there are certain laws and regulations that govern car accidents, and it’s important to be aware of them if you’re ever involved in one. In this article, we’ll go over the top things you need to know about car accident laws in Florida.
1. No-Fault Insurance:
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that regardless of who is at fault in a car accident, each driver’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is responsible for paying for their own medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault. This system is designed to streamline the claims process and reduce the number of lawsuits filed after a car accident.
2. Statute of Limitations:
In Florida, there is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. The statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this time frame, you may be barred from pursuing a claim.
3. Comparative Negligence:
Florida follows the rule of comparative negligence when it comes to car accidents. This means that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation could be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the accident and your total damages were $10,000, your compensation would be reduced by 20% to $8,000.
4. Mandatory Reporting:
Florida law requires drivers involved in a car accident that results in injury, death, or property damage to report the accident to the local police department or sheriff’s office within 10 days of the accident. Failure to report the accident could result in a fine or even the suspension of your driver’s license.
5. Seat Belt Law:
Florida has a mandatory seat belt law, which requires all drivers and passengers to wear seat belts while the vehicle is in motion. Failure to comply with this law could result in a fine.
6. Distracted Driving:
Florida has a law that prohibits texting while driving. Additionally, any form of distracted driving, such as eating or using a cell phone, can be considered negligence if it leads to a motor vehicle accident.
7. Uninsured Motorist Coverage:
While Florida is a no-fault insurance state, drivers are still required to carry liability insurance. Unfortunately, not everyone does. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you may need to rely on your own uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your damages. It’s important to understand your insurance policy and your rights in these situations.
8. Third-Party Claims:
In some cases, it may be possible to pursue a third-party claim against someone other than the other driver involved in the accident. You might be able to file a claim against the manufacturer, for instance, if a road or vehicle component was at fault in the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you explore your options.
9. Loss of Consortium:
In addition to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of consortium. “Loss of consortium” refers to the loss of the benefits of a relationship due to an injury or disability. This can include loss of companionship, affection, and sexual relations. Not all states recognize loss of consortium claims, but Florida does.
10. Contingency Fees:
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they only get paid if they win your case. This can be a great option for people who cannot afford to pay an attorney upfront. However, it’s important to understand the fee structure and any other costs that may be associated with your case.
11. Time is of the Essence:
It’s important to act quickly after a car accident. Evidence can be lost, memories can fade, and deadlines can be missed. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Lawlor, White & Murphey Today For a Free Consultation About Your Car Accident Case
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, we know that when you’ve been injured, the road to recovery can be long and difficult. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve. With years of experience in personal injury law, our team of attorneys has a proven track record of success in negotiating with insurance companies and advocating for our clients in court.
We understand that no two cases are the same, which is why we take a personalized approach to every case we handle. From car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, taxi accidents, Uber & Lyft accidents, and more, our team has the knowledge and expertise to guide you through every step of the legal process. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and our commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.
We believe that everyone deserves access to justice. That’s why we offer a free consultation for every case, with no obligation. We’ll take the time to listen to your story, answer your questions, and provide you with honest and straightforward legal advice. When you choose Lawlor, White & Murphey, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. We’ll work tirelessly to help you get the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and let us help you get the justice you deserve.