If you are involved in an automobile accident in Florida, you should be prepared for what to do next. Here are the five most important measures to take. Did you realize that there are over 15 million licensed drivers in Florida alone?
With so many automobiles on the road, it's no surprise that car accidents are extremely prevalent in the Sunshine State. In actuality, Florida recorded 101,526 recorded cases in 2022.
That being said, it's critical that you know what to do in the event of a vehicle accident in Florida, particularly since the state has enacted a "no-fault" statute.
But don't worry, since that's precisely what we'll cover in this piece. Continue reading to find out what you should do immediately before pressing charges for car accident in Florida.
A Summary of Florida’s No-Fault Law
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is required for all car owners in Florida. PIP coverage should be at least $10,000, covering medical expenses and lost income. Motorists should also have at least $10,000 in property damage liability insurance.
These plans should protect drivers regardless of who is at fault in a traffic collision. However, they only cover the policyholder and not the other party in the accident.
However, if you are in a vehicle accident that is not your fault, your own PIP and PDL will protect you. However, if the collision was caused by carelessness, you may be entitled to sue the at-fault motorist.
One example would be if one of the drivers had lifelong injuries as a result of the accident. Drivers who were at fault may also face charges if their negligence resulted in a severe brain injury.
Now that you understand how vehicle insurance works in the state, here's what you should do immediately after a car accident.
1. Call 911 as soon as you are involved in a Florida car accident
When you're in a vehicle accident, the first thing you'll probably experience is shock. This "feeling" may leave you so numb that you don't notice injuries like fractured bones right away.
As a result, the first phone contact you should make after stopping your automobile is 911. Also, unless it is affecting traffic, avoid moving your automobile from the collision location if at all feasible.
Inform the 911 operator of the crash's specific location. If possible, include specifics such as highway mile markers and landmarks. The more information you offer, the faster the police and paramedics can arrive.
One thing to avoid is telling the operator who was at fault. The operator simply needs to know where you are, what kinds of injuries you have (and how severe they are), and a description of the incident.
2. Report the accident to the police
You are not required to report all Florida vehicle accidents to the police, even small fender-benders. However, if the accident or hit-and-run caused $500 or more in personal or property damage, call the cops right away.
However, if you dialed 911, the operator should have already alerted the police.
What matters is that you contact the police and report the collision, even if it is small. This is especially important in a hit-and-run accident, a collision caused by carelessness, or if the other motorist is intoxicated.
3. Make a comprehensive list of the accidents
While you wait for the police, make a list of everything you remember from before the accident. For example, try to recall where you were going before the other motorist struck you. Was the traffic signal yellow, red, or green?
Did you witness the other motorist swerving, speeding, or exhibiting any other DUI symptoms? Perhaps you've witnessed the other driver driving the car while on the phone. The second motorist would have already been in violation of Senate Bill 76 in this situation.
In the event of a hit-and-run, make a note of everything you remember about the other car. The make, model, year, color, and plate number are the most crucial. Even little data, like bumper stickers or dents, can aid the authorities in locating the perpetrator.
If the other motorist remained on the scene, exchange car and insurance information with them. Make a note of the car's make, model, year, vehicle identification number, and license plate number. Request the other driver's full name, address, date of birth, contact information, and license number.
If the driver is not the vehicle's owner, get the vehicle owner's full name and contact information. Make sure you get the officers' names, contact information, and badge numbers.
4. Collect evidence and witness statements
Take clear images and videos of the involved automobiles from various perspectives. These photos and recordings may also be used to determine weather conditions and roadblocks. Include street and traffic signs in your visual proof as well.
Capture movies with sound whenever feasible, since this might provide information about a person's mental state. Slurred speech, for example, may indicate drunkenness. You could even get a recording of the other motorist admitting guilt.
If you discover a willing witness, ask them if they can describe what they saw on camera. In addition, request their entire name and contact details. Your insurance company may contact you for more information about your claim.
It would be tough for the other motorist to modify their narrative with such proof in your possession. You might use it to refute their claims made immediately after the accident.
5. Make contact with your insurance company
Following an automobile accident, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Your claim will be reviewed by your insurer to establish the degree of the damage and who is to blame.
Hire A Personal Injury Attorney to Aid You in Pressing Charges for Car Accident in Florida
Due to Florida's no-fault legislation, pressing charges for car accident is quite simple. However, you may still encounter issues and, in certain cases, unreasonable compensation. This is especially true if the collision was caused by the other driver's irresponsibility.
That is why, if you are involved in a vehicle accident, you should think about contacting a personal injury attorney, especially if it was not your fault.