More than 20,000 Florida car accidents occurred between Jan 1. 2022, and Jan 26, 2023, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department. The car accidents injured more than 13,000.
If you are a Florida car accident victim, especially one who suffered a personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering, and lost income. Here are your rights as a car accident victim under Florida law and some tips on protecting them.
What are the rights of victims of car accidents in Florida?
Several Florida statutes protect your rights in car accident cases.
No-Fault Benefits From Your Insurance Company
Florida has a no fault system, which means that you do not have to prove who was the at-fault driver to receive benefits, such as payment for medical bills and property damage.
If you’ve sustained serious or permanent injuries in a car accident in Florida, you have a right to go outside the no fault system to file a claim against the at fault party. You can hold at fault drivers responsible and receive compensation.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
In a third-party case outside the no fault system, you may seek compensation for the pain and suffering from your injuries. A personal injury attorney who knows Florida car accident laws can help you recover compensation.
Claim Against the Car Manufacturer
If a vehicle defect caused the accident, you could file a claim against the manufacturer. You could gain compensation for lost wages, property damage, and reasonable medical expenses. A Florida car accident lawyer can help you file your claim.
Access to Information from the Other Driver
Florida law 316.070 requires drivers to exchange information after a car accident. You’re entitled to receive the other driver’s name and address, the license plate of the vehicle, and insurance information.
Appeal if You Feel Your Insurer Has Been Unfair
You can appeal if your insurer is not paying what your contract requires for your property damage or personal injury claim. You can also supply additional information to help the company settle your insurance claim fairly.
File A Lawsuit
If the company still offers an unfair settlement after your auto accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you must file the action within a specific timeframe after the accident, known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for car accident claims in Florida is four years.
Compensation If You Are Partially At Fault
Florida has a comparative fault system, which means you are entitled to compensation even if you bear some fault in a car accident. A qualified car accident attorney can help you.
How can I protect my rights after a car crash?
You can protect your rights by taking specific actions at the accident scene.
- Check for injuries. Seek medical treatment even if no injuries are readily apparent. Some injuries aren’t noticeable immediately. Receiving personal injury compensation will be more difficult if you have no medical evidence. Also, Florida law requires you to assist others with car accident injuries.
- Report the accident to local law enforcement or the Florida highway patrol.
After you leave the accident scene, you can protect your rights by taking these actions.
- Don’t accept a settlement until you’ve talked with a Florida attorney specializing in personal injury law.
- Don’t make a recorded statement about the accident.
Car accidents happen to the best of drivers. Car accident victims can protect their rights by contacting a law firm immediately. Call 1-800Ask-Gary to receive a list of attorneys with experience filing Florida car accident cases.