Car accident law refers to the regulations that determine which party is liable for both personal injury and property damage in the event of a traffic accident. With that said, all motorists have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles in a responsible manner and to obey all traffic rules whether on or off the road.
Florida is a populous state with millions of vehicles plying its highways at any given time. Accidents and crashes are common on Florida’s highways. Whether you’re a resident or an out-of-state driver, it’s always wise to be aware of the law.
Here is an overview of Florida car accident laws:
Understanding Auto Accident Laws in Florida
Florida is one of the few states that rely on the “no-fault” auto insurance and accident compensation laws. Unfortunately, many people incorrectly assume that they can’t be held responsible for personal injuries they cause while on Florida roads.
Instead, the no-fault principle means that motorists will have to file claims with their insurance companies under personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in case they suffer injury from motor vehicle accidents.
In a bid to reduce the traffic accident personal injury claims, the Florida state legislature enacted a law where every automobile operator is required to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage. This amount will cover medical bills that arise due to motor vehicle accidents, regardless of who is responsible for the crash.
Limitations of PIP Coverage
There are two situations where the no-fault law does not apply. The first is when the accident results in permanent injuries such as death or significant disfigurement. The other is when medical bills or lost wages are in excess of $10,000.
When either of these two scenarios occurs, the affected parties are free to sue each other, often with the help of a car accident lawyer in Miami or elsewhere in Florida. However, all cases of the above nature should be filed within four years from the date of the accident.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
A majority of car crashes occur because one of the motorists failed to act in a responsible manner. As per the law, the negligent driver is required to compensate the injured party for the damage or harm caused to them.
Florida relies on the comparative negligence system to establish the degree of liability in negligence lawsuits. Comparative negligence means that the party at fault for the accident is held accountable to the extent of their liability.
Filing Insurance Claims
Dealing with insurance companies can be a daunting task, especially when you are unaware of the steps to take in the aftermath of an accident. It is a legal requirement to immediately contact the police and record a statement detailing who is at fault.
Ensure that you have information such as the date of the accident, the police agency in charge of the investigation, the model, number of license plates, and tag numbers of both automobiles. Make sure you provide your insurer with any historical records that might be of interest to them.
Once you furnish your insurance company with the above information, it is now upon the claims adjuster to determine fault and liability in the accident. The determination is based on the evidence available from the report.
However, witness statements, photographic content, and history records do add to the weight of evidence. The insurer will then decide whether to offer or deny a settlement based on this information.
For more information on “no-fault” party law in Florida, visit the following sites: