The Definitive Guide to Florida Car Accident Laws

The laws governing auto accidents in Florida should be thoroughly understood by all Florida drivers. As well as preventing future car accidents, familiarizing themselves with these laws will also provide drivers with information regarding liability and compensation in the event that a car accident occurs. In addition, millions of motorists are on Florida roads every day, and accidents occur regularly, so understanding what to do after a car accident and how the law may affect a claim is imperative. The following is what Florida drivers need to know about the applicable legal guidelines in Florida concerning car accidents. The facts about Florida car accident laws are very helpful for new drivers or for those who completed a driver education course years in the past.

Abrahamson & Uiterwyk’s team of attorneys located throughout the Tampa Bay area are prepared to examine your case and provide guidance. Visit one of our bay area offices to find an attorney skilled in Florida car accident laws with extensive local experience.

Florida Car Accident Insurance Laws

It is important to remember that Florida is a “no-fault” state, which means that each person’s insurance company is responsible for covering their own accident expenses, regardless of who was at fault. By filing a lawsuit for personal injury, victims may be able to recover additional damages if an accident causes more damages or injuries than their insurance policy covers.

According to Florida Statute 324.021, all motor vehicles registered in the state are required to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage of $10,000 to cover any damage they may cause. The minimum coverage requirement is referred to as PIP insurance, which does not constitute full coverage. Although this law exists, not all motorists adhere to it. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported over 503,000 suspensions of financial responsibility in 2011-12. Due to this, more than half a million motorists have had their driving privileges suspended as a result of driving without adequate insurance or without having any insurance at all.

Drivers should immediately report any accident to their insurance company. Upon receiving all the information detailed in the Florida Highway Patrol crash report or police report, the driver’s insurance company will determine fault for the accident.

Read more about How Long After an Accident Can You File a Police Report, How to Get a Tampa Police Report Online, Can You File a Police Report Days After an Accident in Tampa?, Male vs Female Driving Statistics, Policy Limits Demand.

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Florida Car Accident Laws Pertaining to Reporting Car Accidents

While driving on Florida roadways, drivers are always at risk of being involved in a car accident, even if they are practicing proper road safety tips. As a result of this, drivers may wonder what their legal obligations are. In Florida, if any of the following occurs, drivers are required to report the accident to the Florida Highway Patrol, sheriff, or local police immediately:

  • Death or injury
  • Hit & run accident
  • Accident caused by intoxication
  • Property damage is worth more than $500

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must also be notified within 10 days of the accident if a driver is involved in a car accident in Florida.

It is mandatory for drivers to remain at the scene of the accident if there have been injuries or damage to property. Additionally, all parties must exchange information (name, address, registration number of vehicles involved). Despite not being required by law, drivers should also write down the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident occur. In addition, weather conditions and road conditions are other important details that should be noted.

Be sure to take pictures of all vehicles involved in the accident so that the driver’s insurance company can receive them with the accident report. There should not be any admission of fault on the driver’s behalf, or any explicit blame placed on the other driver in the report.

After the police incident report is complete, you can request a copy for your records, insurance company, or for your car accident attorney. Consult our guide on how to request Riverview police accident reports.

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Florida Car Accident Laws Pertaining to Comparative Fault

Florida is a modified comparative negligence state.  This means that if you are found to be no more than 50% at fault for the accident, your recovery is reduced by the same proportion as your percentage of fault.  As an example, if you are found to be 20% at fault in an accident, you may still recover 80% of your damages in a lawsuit.  If, however, your percentage of fault is found to be more than 50%, you are barred from any recovery under the law.

Car Accident Statute of Limitations in Florida

The first priority after being involved in a car accident in Florida is obviously to obtain medical treatment for a driver’s injuries and to arrange vehicle repair. In the aftermath of a car accident, after dealing with the immediate problems of recovery, it can be difficult to focus on pursuing financial compensation from the driver or party at fault for the accident. It is important to note, however, that the driver has a limited period of time in which to file a lawsuit in order to pursue a car accident claim. This period is set forth in Florida’s Statute of Limitations.  If the driver does not file their claim within the statute of limitations period, they will be forever barred from pursuing their claim.

Call Us to Discuss Your Florida Car Accident Injury

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you owe it to yourself to find excellent legal representation. We’ve helped thousands of clients recover hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 30 years.

We can’t represent everyone, but we help everyone we can. Call us for a free consultation. We’ll review your case and let you know if we can give you the legal representation you deserve.

Our firm receives many referrals from local attorneys as well as attorneys from across the nation. Learn more about personal injury referral fees.

If your auto accident happened in Palmetto or Brooksville, contact us to speak to one of our Palmetto car accident attorneys or a car accident lawyer in Brooksville.

Call us 24/7 at 800-538-4878 to get your FREE case review.

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"Car accidents are probably one of the scariest and unexpecting times of our life. I received a referral from a friend for Abrahamson & Uiterwyk and I’m beyond glad I did. I called them while I was in the hospital and they walked me through the entire process along with my legal rights for care. The legal team stood by me, checking in to see how I was doing until my case closed. I could not have been more pleased with the professionalism and care that they showed during such a difficult time. I would highly recommend Abrahamson and he would be the first call I make if I need someone again. "
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