An accident is always an unpleasant situation – a condition anyone would hardly have any forethought about. Unfortunately, it is a situation you may likely face, and as such, it would be ideal to take steps to ensure you are well protected. A major step towards protecting yourself from car accident in Florida is to be aware of the requirements of Florida law in the face of an accident.
If you have been involved in an accident in Florida, exchanging information with other parties involved (pedestrians, passengers, or fellow motorists) would be helpful in the event of a lawsuit in the future. It would also be ideal to ask for relevant information of the witnesses at the scene of the accident. Relevant information you need to exchange after a car accident in Florida includes driver(s) license number, name, contact information, and address, tag number of vehicles involved in the accident, and the auto insurance details of the motorists.
Taking photographs of the accident scene may also prove to be useful in the future. In a situation where you hit an unattended vehicle, you must put in effort to find the driver or owner of the vehicle, and exchange information as described above. If locating the owner of the unattended vehicle is impossible, Florida law demands that you leave a note behind indicating your contact details, name, and a brief report of the accident.
Report the Accident
Florida Law requires that you report your accident to the Police, Federal Highway Patrol, or Sheriff when an accident involves:
- Over $500 worth of property damage
- Injury or death
- Accident due to driving under influence
If the investigating officer of the accident has already filed a Crash Report, there would be no need for you to do so. However, if this was not done by the officer, you are required to file one within ten days of the car accident. This Crash Report must include the details of your insurance coverage, which will be cross-checked by the DMV.
Seek Medical Care
Florida Law has a provision for Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Under this law, a driver is required to have an insurance coverage that protects the driver against lost wages and injuries, whether the accident was the fault of the driver or not. Another requirement under the law is that a driver must seek medical attention within fourteen days of the accident to be able to take full advantage of their PIP benefits. If you were a passenger in the affected vehicle, you are also entitled to the benefits of the driver of your vehicle had a PIP automobile insurance as at the time the accident occurred.
Notify your Insurance Company
In addition, it would be ideal to notify your insurance company, so they can send you a settlement offer best handled by an skilled attorney that indicates how much you will receive for the property damage and injuries. If you think the settlement offer is not good enough to care for your loss, you can negotiate with the insurance company to reach an acceptable ground, but this is best done with an attorney intervening on your behalf. It is not mandatory by any means but wouldn’t you want someone on your side helping YOU?