Although the byways and highways in Florida provide amazing scenery for anyone to enjoy a routine drive, a car accident can occur at any time, easily disrupting an enjoyable moment. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident in Florida, it would be ideal to understand the car accident settlements in Florida process and timeline. Your conduct and understanding of the process will have a huge impact on your settlement offer in the end.
Report the Accident
In Florida, the law requires that you contact the nearest law enforcement agency following a car accident involving an injury, property damage worth over $500, or/and even death. When a police officer arrives, a crash report describing the details of the accident will be written. This report will include the details of the witnesses and insurance details of the affected individuals. If there was no police officer at the scene of the accident to file to report, the law requires the driver to file the crash report within ten days of the accident.
Once you are now at a safe area following the accident, the law requires you to offer reasonable assistance to any individual that has been injured, exchange personal details such as insurance information, vehicle number, and explain everything you know about the accident to the law enforcement officers when they arrive.
Florida Insurance System
The no-fault insurance system in Florida is structured in a way that the medical bills and other related expenses are covered by the insurance carrier of an individual involved in an accident – whether he or she is at fault or not. However, in the case of property damage, a driver can pursue a settlement claim against the insurance of the at-fault driver. Every driver is Florida is required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance worth at least $10,000 and property damage liability insurance worth $10,000.
Filing a claim with your insurance company should be done as soon as possible especially because there are deadlines with every policy. Check your policy for its deadline so you can work in line with it. in addition, while it would be ideal to see your doctor immediately, holding off on the repair of your car would be a great idea so your insurance carrier can access the level of damage or send your car to an approved shop for repairs.
Claim Settlements in Florida – how they work
In a claim settlement in Florida, the affected person agrees to a specific amount from the at-fault driver or insurance company. This will be done in exchange for the right to pursue any lawsuit in connection with the accident. Since the settlement amount largely depends on your supporting evidence, having police reports, witness statements, and other relevant documents would be crucial to the success of your negotiations.
Although an insurance company may not ordinarily engage in unfair practices such as failing to make appropriate payments for valid claims or avoiding any proper investigations, you must remember that their primary job is to ensure their interest, not yours. To ensure your settlement claim is settled, an insurance company may send a release for you to sign, stating that you would no longer file any claims connecting to the accident. However, you must ensure that you hold off with that until you think the settlement is fair enough, also covering any health challenges as estimated by a medical professional.
Factors that Determine your Settlement Claim in Florida
Since the circumstances surrounding each accident case are unique, there is no ideal formula for determining the average amount. However, relevant factors such as the severity of injury, cost of medical expenses, at-fault status, type of insurance coverage of affected persons, and the ability of the involved attorneys to argue the case, would largely determine the car accident settlement amount in Florida.
As a no-fault state, it is only in the face of a serious accident that you can pursue a settlement claim for personal injury in Florida against an at-fault driver. Every individual has four years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury claim but they only have 14 days from the date of the accident to see a doctor in order to be able to receive compensation through the PIP benefits.
Good knowledge of the law guiding car accidents and settlements in Florida would ensure you receive the benefit you deserve.