Frequently Asked Questions About Motor Vehicle Accidents In Florida
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, your head might be spinning with all of the worries and questions you have about your future. Depending on the severity of your injury, you and your loved one might face many challenges in the near future.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can give you the best advice about your next steps after a motor vehicle accident. They can also provide in-depth answers to some of these common questions.
Q: What should I do if I’m involved in a motor vehicle accident?
A: The first step is to contact the police and medical personnel. After they have been called, take pictures of the surrounding scene and record any observations about the weather, road conditions, and any pertinent information regarding the accident. Get the contact information of the other driver, any passengers in their car, and any witnesses to the accident. Never discuss the event or the blame with anyone, no matter what circumstances led to the accident.
Q: What type of information should I get from the other driver?
A: Staying calm after an accident can help you stay clear headed enough to get the important information you need from the other diver. Do your best to collect their:
• Phone number
• Insurance company & policy number
• Driver’s license number
• License plate number
Q: When should I contact my insurance company to inform them of the accident?
A: You should contact your insurance company within 24 hours after the accident. Most policies state that accidents should be reported within “a reasonable amount of time,” while other policies have a specific time frame requirement. Either way, reporting as soon as possible can get the ball rolling on the long claims process.
Q: What if more than one party is at fault for the accident?
A: Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that even if someone is partially at fault for loss, they can still seek damages from other parties who are also at fault. The recovery amount awarded becomes reduced by the percentage of fault assigned. For instance, if your damage amount is determined at $100,000, and the jury decides that you are 20 percent at-fault for the loss, you’ll receive $80,000 in recovery.
Q: Is there a difference in fault determination if the accident involves a truck or a motorcycle?
A: Every accident is unique, based on the drivers, the vehicles, and the circumstances surrounding the event. Police officers can make evaluations at the scene based on available information. Key facts can sometimes be overlooked or left out, so it’s important to have someone with experience assist you with the case, like a personal injury lawyer.
Q: What is the Florida no-fault law?
A: With Florida’s no-fault law, all parties involved will seek reimbursement from their own insurance carrier regardless of who caused the accident. This makes it important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side to help advocate for you and navigate the case if a dispute arises. When injuries are serious, victims can seek compensation from both the at-fault party and the liable driver’s insurance company.
There have been many legislative efforts made to change this rule in Florida, so be sure to speak to a personal injury lawyer who can provide information that is up-to-date for your loss.