Legal Issues

Guide to Car Accident Laws in the State of Florida

When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, crashes, and on-road fatalities, Florida is a no-fault state. This means that drivers must carry personal injury protection insurance at all times, especially when operating their vehicles.  

Florida’s auto accident compensation system mandates that the at-fault driver address the financial grievance caused by a car accident. When the personal injuries are serious, the crash victims can pursue a case to collect the damage from the at-fault party in the State of Florida within a stipulated time. 

If you’re hurt in a collision or own a vehicle that’s involved in an accident, it’s important to understand your rights and legal obligations. 

Here’s everything you need to know about car accident laws in Florida. 

What Is the Florida 14-Day Accident Law?

Florida’s no-fault insurance system was designed to keep car accident victims safe by providing them legitimate access to medical treatment. They don’t need to wait for insurance companies to determine liability.

As a result, anyone who experiences a car crash injury can receive immediate benefits. Florida’s 14-day accident law states that in the event of an accident, the insurer must receive medical treatment within 14 days of the accident to qualify for the insurance coverage. 

If such a requirement is met, only then can a driver (also the insurer) use personal injury protection insurance. If the injured victim fails to seek such treatment, they forfeit their rights to PIP benefits.

All Florida drivers are required to purchase a minimum of $10,000 of PIP insurance coverage as per state laws. Such precautionary measures are applicable if the insurer has caused personal injury, primarily with the aim of providing financial relief. 

Legal Requirements as per Florida Statutes

PIP refers to personal injury protection that helps cover healthcare costs for injuries sustained in a car accident.

It covers both the policyholders (in this case, the driver) and their passengers, regardless of who has insurance. This insurance features a minimum and per-person maximum coverage limit, unlike bodily injury liability coverage, that isn’t mandatory. 

Bodily injury liability insurance is regarded as additional coverage that helps pay for injuries sustained in an accident that the insurer (driver) is liable for. Additionally, the insurance helps pay legal fees in case you’re sued for the damages caused. As required by most states, car owners in Florida can choose to include this as part of their car insurance policy.

Complying With Minimum Insurance Requirements

According to Section 316 and 324 of Florida Statutes, drivers involved in a crash that may cause personal injury or death, or at least $500 worth of property damage, must ensure the following protocols are met:

  • Contact law enforcement or the nearest police station to report the accident
  • Release insurance information only to passengers, other driver’s attorney, or a representative of the insurer of the person involved in the crash

Applying Insurance Coverage for Personal Injuries

As per Chapter 325 of the Florida Statutes, the at-fault driver must bear full financial responsibility for the damage caused, as stated in a car crash, if:

  • The at-fault driver is charged with violating traffic laws
  • The at-fault driver has caused personal injury or damage to property

The at-fault driver or car owner must also maintain liability insurance coverage, including:

  • $10,000 per person
  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $10,000 worth of personal injury protection

Determining Fault in Florida Car Accident Cases

Florida is a no-fault insurance state which means that, regardless of who’s at fault, both the drivers and the people involved in the crash can recover financial loss from their own insurers for treating minor injuries in a car accident. 

When making a claim under the Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage, the crash victims can seek damage for:

  • 80% of the medical bills incurred due to a crash-related injury
  • 60% of lost wages against injuries that prevent the policyholder from working
  • $5,000 in death benefits if the crash is fatal, often owed to the family of the deceased

Comparative Negligence Rules in Florida Car Accidents

A report defines comparative negligence as an approach that helps determine the plaintiff’s fault and how it affects their right to compensation. As a result, the state can establish that car accident victims who are partly to blame for personal injury or damage can pursue a claim for compensation. In this approach, both drivers share liability for the damage caused by the collision. 

Statute of Limitations for Florida Car Accident Cases

The statute of limitations in Florida apply to car accident claims, often arising out of careless conduct or an act of negligence on the part of the at-fault party. For automotive, motorcycle, and truck accident cases, the statute of limitation is four years after the accident.  

If you need help navigating the complex legal landscape that surrounds car accidents and personal injury cases in Florida, it’s best to consult your attorney. 

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