Car accidents of any kind are complicated to handle, but how complicated are Florida auto accidents?
If you are new to the state of Florida or have recently been involved in an auto collision, you might be wondering what the process is to file for insurance or possibly file a lawsuit. There is a lot that goes into car accidents in Florida, and it’s important to know what to do.
The team at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers is here to help. We serve the residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, and other areas as the go-to expert for all legal advice, especially when it comes to car accidents (by appointment only).
Here’s everything to know about Florida auto accidents, what to do, and when to seek the help of a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer.
Florida Car Accident Rules & Insurance Requirements
One of the reasons why Florida auto accidents are tricky is because the state follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which means all parties involved are to share the blame for the accident. There are situations where the other driver may be entirely at fault for the wreck, and if this is discovered, the other party will be responsible for compensating you for injuries through their insurance.
But what if your accident shows your fault as well? Whether you were less or more responsible for the accident than the other driver, you will still go in front of a jury for them to calculate your damages if it goes to court. The percentage of fault the jury finds you responsible for in regards to the accident will be taken away from your total earnings.
Example: The jury awards you $100,000 for damages, medical bills, and pain and suffering but only finds you 20% responsible for the wreck because you were going five over the speed limit. That means you will walk away with $80,000 total.
It also works if you are found as the guilty party for the wreck. If the accident was your fault and the jury finds you 90% responsible, you will receive $10,000 by the end of the case. This does not count your insurance claim, which has specific requirements in the state of Florida.
Not every auto accident is eligible for a court case. Only the ones who meet certain requirements can file a lawsuit, which is why Florida requires their drivers to carry $10,000 in property damage and personal injury protection.
This will cover you in terms of medical bills and personal suffering if you are ever in a wreck, but you should note that doesn’t mean you will get the whole $10,000. It also does not cover damages to your vehicle, so you would have to get collision insurance as well if you want that coverage.
Filing insurance claims after an auto wreck in Florida can be complicated since your insurance company will likely look for any piece of evidence that lessens how much you should be compensated for. This is why you should seek the help of a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer as soon as possible.
What to Do After Being in A Florida Car Accident
Now that you know what you need to do after being in a car accident in Florida, there are things you can do to strengthen your case and provide evidence for your attorney to use.
If you are physically able, the first thing you should do after being in a collision is call the police. Technically, it’s your civic responsibility in Florida to report the accident, especially if there is an injury, death, or damages exceeding $500 (which there typically always is). The police will file a report that your attorney can use later along with your insurance, as it covers what happened.
You should also seek medical attention even if you don’t notice any cuts or scrapes. Not only can this benefit your health and safety in case there is anything wrong with you internally, but medical reports can also be used as evidence.
Lastly, don’t forget to take photos of the scene, especially if you are the victim. Take photos of your car, the road, any obstructions that might have caused the accident, and any injuries you sustained. Photos speak a thousand words, so your attorney will be able to use the photos to help strengthen your case later.
You should also make sure you receive the information of the other driver so you can communicate with them later for insurance purposes or if you need to file a case against them. Be sure they give you their name, car color, make and model, and any relevant insurance information.
Witnesses nearby are also worthy to speak with since they can testify for you in your case if they saw the accident from start to finish. The police may take a statement from them if they are around during the time of reporting, and you can ask for their information to speak with them later.
When to Seek Out the Help of An Attorney
As we mentioned earlier, you should not wait to seek out the help of an attorney until your insurance has been denied or you’re drowning in debt. Attorneys are great advice counselors to speak to long before you pick up the phone to call your insurance representative.
Even if your case does not meet the requirements to file a lawsuit, your attorney can help you determine what a fair settlement amount is and use their high-quality negotiation skills so that you don’t have to settle for less than you deserve. If your insurance company knows you have an attorney representing you, they are more likely to give you the settlement you deserve.
If the first settlement from your insurance policy comes back low, your lawyer can advise you what to do next in terms of negotiation.
An attorney can also give you insight the longer your case drags on. With their expert legal advice and knowledge of that state’s Statute of Limitations, your attorney may be able to find details in your case to put you in a more favorable position.
Speak with A Car Accident Lawyer Today
Don’t let the complications and headaches of Florida auto accidents weigh you down. You can receive help from an attorney at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers in West Palm Beach, Florida (by appointment only).
Our firm is highly awarded and recognized for the excellent service we bring our clients. After helping clients for countless auto accidents, we understand how the process works and how the other side thinks. Our primary goal is fighting for you and making the legal process as stress-free for you during this time.
To get started, visit us online to fill out our free case evaluation form and to leave us your contact information. You can also call us at (561) 800-8000 to set up the time for you to come in for your free consultation where we will discuss your case in greater detail.
After speaking with one of our attorneys, we will get started building your case immediately if you feel that we are the right fit.
Let us help you seek compensation by calling us today.