FAQ About Accident Cases in Florida | Law Blog
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FAQ About Accident Cases in Florida

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If you are involved in a car accident in Florida, you probably have a lot of questions. You will want to know the law concerning how to proceed and when to report an accident. In addition, it is important to know how damages are calculated in accident cases in Florida. Let’s explore these topics in detail according to Florida law.

What Should I Do After an Accident in Florida?

As a participant in an accident, whether you are at fault or not, the following rules apply in Florida according to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV):

  • Move your vehicle out of the way of other traffic. Seek help or call a tow truck to assist you.
  • Seek medical attention for anyone injured.
  • Share your name, address and registration information upon request to anyone involved and to law enforcement officials.
  • If an officer does not file a report, you will need to file a crash report within 10 days of the accident.
  • If the other vehicle is unoccupied, say in the case of a parking lot accident, you are required to notify the owner, or attach a note to the car with your name, address, and license plate number. You must also report the accident to the police.

You may also want to ask for contact information from eye-witnesses in case you need their testimony at a later date. In addition, you may want to take photos of the accident for later use. Failure to follow the law concerning accidents can result in losing your license, criminal charges, and possibly other penalties.

How Do I Report an Accident?

According to the DMV, accidents must be reported immediately in the following cases:

  • Property damage exceeding $500.
  • Injury or death
  • A hit and run
  • A drunk driving accident

You will also want to notify your insurance company right away. Note that to legally drive in Florida, drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection insurance and a minimum of $10,000 property damage liability insurance. Not carrying this insurance when you are involved in an accident will cause you to lose your driving privileges.

How Are Damages Calculated in Accident Cases in Florida?

Accident damages do not have a set amount because they vary from case to case, depending on the severity of the accident and the injuries involved. There are specific categories, however, for which claimants can file for damages. According to Florida State Law under Section 501.2 which addresses personal injury and property damages, “There is no exact standard for measuring such damage. The amount should be fair and just in the light of the evidence.” The following categories fall under accident damages in Florida:

  1. Pain, injury, disfigurement, disability, and loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, past or future for the injured party.
  2. Medical expenses for the claimant or for minors injured in an accident, past or future.
  3. Lost wages, lost time, and lost earning potential, past or future.
  4. Loss of companionship and services to a spouse of the injured, past or future.
  5. Parental damages for caring for an injured child, and the resulting loss of services, earnings, and earnings ability, past, present and future, until the child reaches legal age.
  6. Loss of a child’s love, companionship, affection, social activities, and solace due to a significant injury resulting in permanent disability, including future loss until the child reaches legal age.
  7. Loss to an unmarried dependent of their parent’s comfort, services, companionship, and society in the past or future due to a significant injury to the parent.
  8. Property damage to the vehicle and other personal property including repair, towing, storage, and loss of use.

Would You Like More Information?

In the event of an accident, eye-witness accounts, police reports, insurance reports, and photos are all vital to your case. Cases can be settled in a court of law or outside a court of law. Note that in Florida you have 4 years to file a personal injury or property damage claim in court.

If you would like to discuss how damages are calculated in accident cases in Florida and what your rights are if you are involved in an accident contact the attorneys at Whibbs Stone and Barnett, or call us at 1-888-219-5461.