Florida drivers should fully understand the state laws regarding car accidents. The following blog post answers the most frequently asked questions about car accidents in Florida.
Is Florida a Fault or No-Fault Insurance State?
Florida is one of a dozen states that are considered “no-fault” insurance states for car accident claims. This means injured motorists and occupants must file an accident claim with their own personal-injury-protection auto insurance coverage to obtain compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket losses they suffered from the collision – no matter who is to blame for causing the crash.
Florida law requires all drivers in the state to carry the following minimum insurance amounts:
$10,000 for personal injury protection coverage
$10,000 for bodily injury coverage per individual and $20,000 per accident
$10,000 for property damage coverage per accident
$10,000 for uninsured motorist coverage per individual and $20,000 per accident
However, if a person suffers a “permanent injury” in a crash, he/she may step outside of the no-fault system and bring an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Common examples of permanent injury include a significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, significant or permanent disfigurement or scarring, or death.
Am I Required to Call the Police After a Crash?
You must report a Florida car accident to the local, county, or state police department, or Florida Highway Patrol, if the collision resulted in an injury, death, and/or property damage worth an estimated $500 or more.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
According to the Florida statute of limitations related to car accidents, you must bring a lawsuit to civil court in four years starting from the date of the collision. Attempting to file a lawsuit after the deadline has expired will likely result in your case being dismissed.
What If the At-Fault Driver Also Blames Me for Causing the Accident?
If the at-fault driver claims you are partly to blame for the crash, Florida follows a “pure comparative fault” rule. This means when both parties share liability, each party’s damages award will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
For example, let’s say the jury awards you $100,000, but the jury also finds you 35 percent responsible. Under Florida’s comparative fault law, you are entitled to only 65 percent of the $100,000 total, or $65,000.
Keep in mind, if you are found to be more liable for the crash than the other driver, you can still recover damages. However, you will be required to compensate the other driver’s losses.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused in Miami, FL, call Mitchell & West LLC at (305) 783-3301 or fill out our online contact form to request a free consultation! Let our firm protect your rights and best interests from start to finish!