Car Accident Laws in Florida
Reputable Personal Injury Lawyers Put Florida Car Accident Laws to Work for Injured Clients in Fort Lauderdale
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident in South Florida, you likely have a full list of questions about your legal rights and options for recovering compensation. You know that you’re suffering and that someone else is responsible for that suffering—which means that the responsible party should be legally obligated to provide compensation for your harm. Unfortunately, that compensation does not always come easily, and it becomes necessary to put the law to work to recover the funds you need to move forward with your life.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our experienced car accident injury lawyers realize that attempting to recover compensation for injuries after a car crash can be daunting without a thorough understanding of Florida’s car accident laws. We take the time to explain how Florida car accident laws may apply in every one of our client’s cases so that you understand your legal rights and potential options for recovering compensation in your case. Despite this, understanding the Florida car accident laws is only the first step to recovering full compensation in your case. Our lawyers have the skills necessary to interpret those laws and formulate a strong argument that, based on the law, you are entitled to recover compensation from the party whose careless actions caused your car crash.
Understanding the Various Insurance-Based Florida Car Accident Laws
At the most basic level, if you are involved in an accident, Florida car accident laws generally require that you report the accident to the police if the damages or injuries caused by the accident are anticipated to exceed $500—which, practically, means that it is important to report every crash to the police.
Under the Florida no-fault insurance law, drivers must generally look to their own car insurance first for compensation for those damages following an accident. Because of this, Florida car accident laws impose specific insurance-related requirements on every South Florida driver. Florida drivers must generally carry at least:
- $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, and
- $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance.
Despite the no-fault insurance law, injured drivers may also recover compensation from the at-fault party if that driver is found to be at fault under Florida law.
Results-Driven Injury Lawyers Use Knowledge of Florida Car Accident Laws to Win Maximum Compensation for Fort Lauderdale Accident Victims
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our skilled car accident lawyers understand that recovering full compensation in many car accident cases is much more complicated than simply filing a claim with the relevant insurance company. The law itself is complex, and any number of legal theories may come into play depending upon the specific facts of your case. Additional laws that are important in Florida car accident cases include:
- Negligence law. Most Florida car accident cases proceed on a negligence theory, which requires showing that (1) the driver owed the victim a duty of care, (2) breached that duty by failing to drive carefully, and (3) that breach caused the accident victim to sustain injuries that caused the victim damages.
- Comparative negligence law. Comparative negligence is a legal issue that comes into play when more than one driver was at fault for the car crash. Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence law, a percentage of fault for the accident is assigned to all parties if one driver is not entirely to blame. In these cases, the injured driver’s compensation award is reduced in proportion to the percentage of blame assigned to that driver.
- Serious injury threshold. Under Florida car accident laws, to recover compensation via a personal injury lawsuit, the injured party must have sustained injuries that are considered “serious” enough to warrant legal intervention. This generally means that the injuries must (1) result in permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function, (2) be permanent, as anticipated with reasonable medical certainty, (3) result in significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement or (4) result in death.
- Product liability law. Florida car accident law also allows accident victims to recover compensation from the manufacturer or designer of a vehicle component that caused the accident. This is generally the case where a component was defective, meaning that it was unreasonably safe for its intended use, and you did not make any modifications to the component. In other cases, a failure to include proper warnings about a vehicle component that caused injury or exacerbated injuries can provide a legal basis for your right to compensation.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation for Answers to Questions About Florida Car Crash Laws
Even with a basic understanding of Florida laws, the full regime of Florida car accident laws is both complicated and can be difficult to apply on a practical level in your case. Our experienced car accident lawyers collectively have over five decades’ worth of experience helping car accident victims recover full compensation for their injuries, so call or contact our office today to discuss options in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Car Accident Laws
FAQ: Do Florida car accident laws place a time limit on my ability to file a claim for compensation after I was injured in a car crash?
Yes. As in most personal injury cases, the time limit for filing a formal personal injury lawsuit is four years from the date of the accident. If this time period passes, you will not be able to pursue your claim for compensation for your injuries in most cases.
FAQ: What happens under Florida car accident laws if I was injured in a car accident, but was found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the crash?
Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence law, you can still recover compensation for your injuries. For example, assume that you were awarded $100,000 for your injuries, but you were found to be 60 percent responsible for the crash. Under these circumstances, your award would be reduced by 60 percent, so you could still recover $40,000. However, you may also be found liable for 60 percent of another party’s damages if someone else also suffered injuries in the crash.