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Understanding Florida Auto Accident Laws

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As a Florida driver, it is important to know and understand the many laws regarding auto accidents and driving within the state. You should also be aware of the laws regarding what you need to do if you have been injured on the road.

For example, did you know that Florida law requires all drivers to stop at the scene of an accident to help those who are injured? Also, if the damages resulting from the accident are in excess of $500, then they must be reported to local law enforcement. Additionally, when the accident results in injuries, you are required to stay at the scene of the accident.

The Statute Of Limitations

This is the law that puts a time limit on a person’s right to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file your lawsuit within a specific timeframe, then the Florida court system can dismiss your case. In most situations, people have up to four years from the date of the crash to file their car accident claim.

Comparative Negligence

If you were involved in an auto accident in Florida and the accident was entirely the fault of someone else, then the other driver and their insurance carrier are most likely responsible for compensation for medical bills, any lost wages, and other losses. However, there are times where you may share some of the fault for the accident as well.

In Florida, there is a rule for pure comparative fault. This is when both parties involved in the accident have some blame. In such situation, the dollar amount of the damages will be considered along with the percentage of fault belonging to each responsible party. Under this rule, the damages awarded may be reduced by a certain percentage to reflect their percentage of fault for the accident.

For example, if the other driver was found to be 90 percent responsible for the accident and you were only found to be 10 percent responsible, then they will have to pay 90 percent of the damages. In comparison, you are only responsible for 10 percent.

No-Fault System

Florida is one of a few states that follow a no-fault car insurance system. Under this system, an injured driver will need to go to their own insurance carrier first and use their personal injury protection insurance coverage to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the accident. This is true regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Under the no-fault policy in Florida, personal injury protection (PIP) benefits more than just the policyholder. It may also extend to the policyholder’s children, members of their household, and most passengers in the vehicle who don’t have their own PIP insurance.

Liability Claims

To pursue a liability claim against the person who caused the auto accident, the injuries from the incident need to be categorized as serious. Under Florida law, serious injuries often include significant disfigurement, bone fractures, limitation of the use of a body system, or substantial full disability for more than 90 days.

If you experience those types of issues, then you are not just limited to your PIP coverage. You can also hold the at-fault driver responsible for your injuries through a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

If you have been involved in an accident and have sustained serious injuries as a result, do not hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you with your case. They will do everything they can to fight for your rights and get you fair compensation.

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

Understanding Florida Auto Accident Laws

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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