Statistics released in 2015 showed that an average of 6 million car accidents occur in the United States every year, with around 2 million of those involved experiencing permanent injuries. Many of these accidents are caused by the negligence of other drivers.
Even if you are doing everything possible to operate your vehicle safely, a less considerate motorist can potentially cause a crash that leaves you with catastrophic injuries.
In the aftermath of an accident, you may be worried about how you will physically and financially recover. If you are hospitalized, you may worry about expensive medical bills, and if your injuries force you to miss work, you will likely be concerned about lost income.
- Motor vehicles
- Trucks and commercial vehicles
- Motorcycles and bicycles
- Boats, jet skis, and planes
Liability Laws After a Car Accident
One of the first steps when filing a car accident claim is to determine who is liable for your injuries. In Florida an “at-fault” rule is used to determine liability. This rule means that the driver who caused an accident is the one responsible for paying damages, through an insurance carrier.
While this may seem obvious some states do follow no-fault system where in each party files a claim with their own insurance regardless of who is responsible for causing the accident.
While this Florida’s at-fault law is simple in situations where only one driver is responsible for causing and accident, many accidents involve the fault of more than one party, no matter how small. For example, a driver who is only partially at fault may have been driving a little bit about the speed limit or failed to use a turn signal.
In these cases, an injured driver can still recover compensation through Florida’s “modified comparative fault" rule. This rule says that an injured party can still file a claim against the negligent party however,
- The percentage of responsibility an injured party is found to bear will also be deducted from their overall compensation awarded. For example, if you are found to be 10% at fault for the accident, the total compensation awarded to you will also be reduced by 10%.
- You can only pursue a claim if your share of fault is less than 50%
What To Do Immediately After a Car Accident in Florida
When you are involved in any type of automobile accident, the first thing you should do is ensure the physical safety of everyone involved. No matter what happens, do not leave. Prematurely leaving the scene of an accident in the state of Florida is a crime and can imperil any future effort to recover damages.
Once you have determined everyone is physically safe and have contacted any necessary medical assistance, it is generally a good idea to summon law enforcement. You are required to do so if the crash caused significant property damage or any serious injuries.
An official police report will also be extremely useful in an ensuing personal injury claim. You should take pictures of the incident site, your injuries, and any property damage to supplement this report. Be sure to exchange names, telephone numbers, addresses, and insurance information with all drivers involved in the accident.
You should also obtain contact information from any witnesses who saw what happened, as their testimony may prove pivotal to your case. After an accident, it is critical that you seek medical treatment as soon as you have an onset of symptoms.
This may be necessary immediately after a crash, but you could also discover possible in the hours or even days following the incident. No matter when you begin to notice symptoms, your health is paramount and you should make every effort to get the medical attention that you need.
It is important that you speak with qualified legal representation before giving any recorded statements to any insurance company involved in the case. This includes your own insurance company.
Put Years of Experience in Your Corner
Our team will do everything possible to ensure you are taken care of immediately following a car accident. We can assist in communications with your insurance company, guide you through the personal injury claims process, and pursue the relief that you need.
Contact our firm for a free consultation to get started on your case today. Our team can assist you in both English and Spanish.
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