From Key West to Pensacola, Florida State has approximately 1,197 miles of coastline, many lakes, and 11 national parks. Whether you are on your way to Disney World (in Orlando) or traveling to any other natural treasures in Florida, you will probably need travel in a vehicle. Unfortunately, car crashes are part of life in this region as they are in other states. In case you suffer this fate, it will be advantageous if you know a thing or two about relevant insurance regulations and the settlement timeline and process.
Should you report a car crash in Florida?
If you have been involved in a car crash in Florida, the law requires you to immediately contact the law enforcement in case someone died, got injured, or there is property damage (more than $500) as a result of the accident. According to Sec. 316.065, the law enforcement officer will create and submit a report regarding the crash. For minor crashes that don’t require police investigation, Sec. 316.066 requires the drivers involved in the accident to file a crash report within a maximum of 10 days.
Once you are in a safe area (on the side of the highway), the Sec. 316.062, 316.027, and Sec. 316.061 require you to provide ‘reasonable’ assistance to the injured parties and exchange vehicle, personal, and insurance details with the other drivers. It’s also recommended to get the names and correct contact details of any witnesses, document the road and weather conditions, and if possible, take photographs of the vehicles.
Though you should tell the truth to the officer investigating the accident, don’t admit you were at fault at this time. Even if you think you were responsible for the accident, the facts may later indicate that you were not at fault. Also, contact Orlando personal injury attorney for legal counsel.
How do auto accident settlements work?
In Florida, settlement involves the injured individual agreeing to a specific payment from the other driver or insurance company. In exchange, the victim gives up all their rights to pursue further legal action associated with the car crash. Just like other forms of settlement, your willingness to settle and the offer after a car crash will depend on the evidence supporting your claim. For this reason, police reports, witness statements, and other relevant documents are crucial in these negotiations.
According to the law, insurance companies should not engage in deceptive or unfair practices such as failure to investigate a claim properly or failure to pay valid personal injury claims. During the settlement process, the company’s primary aim is to look out for its interests, not you. Thus, the insurance company may encourage you to sign a release that indicates you will not file more claims associated with the crash. Don’t do so unless you are satisfied that the settlement covers your dangers and is fair.
Florida is a no-fault state, and that means you can pursue a personal injury legal claim only against the driver who was at fault in the event of a severe accident. Remember, you should file your claim within four years from the date of the car accident.