The Settlement Process And Timeline After A Florida Car Accident
Florida is a hotspot for tourists, offers plenty for locals, and features some of the most highly loved family entertainment destinations in the world. For these reasons, there are always plenty of cars on the road in Florida, and this leads to plenty of Florida car accidents. If you find yourself in an accident in the state of Florida, it pays to know what to do next.
What Happens Immediately After The Accident?
If property damage or injury appears to exceed $500, by law the accident must be reported to Florida law enforcement. What this means is that if an accident causes very minor damage, like a small bump or scratch in a parking lot, and no parties are at all injured or could be injured, the authorities do not have to be contacted, and the accident can be settled between the two parties and their insurance companies. In these very minor instances, however, an accident report must be filed within 10 days of the accident occurring.
After contacting the authorities, and when in a safe space on the road, reasonable assistance must then be offered to any injured parties to assist them before emergency personnel arrives. After injured parties are tended to, information should be exchanged between drivers, and evidence should begin being collected. If you are able, take photos of the damage, road conditions, and gather any information from potential witnesses.
Getting To Know Florida Car Insurance Laws
Florida is unique in its observation of no-fault insurance laws, which means each driver’s costs and expenses are covered by their own insurance policy regardless of who was at fault in the accident. In states that do not observe no-fault insurance laws, the negligent party and their insurance policy in the accident will be responsible for the other party’s damages.
For property damage, however, a person who has been in an accident due to another party’s negligence can pursue the at-fault driver’s insurance in covering their damages. Every Florida resident must carry a $10,000 personal injury policy, or PIP, as well as a $10,000 in property damage liability insurance.
Filing a claim with your insurance policy to cover injury damages should be done as quickly as possible, and different insurance policies may observe different timelines for filing your damages.
Getting Down To The Settlement
After the accident and filing any claims, it’s time to focus on the settlement. In a settlement a person accepts a negotiated upon payment amount from an insurance company and in doing so gives up their right to pursue any additional legal action. The evidence you have supporting your case and the circumstances surrounding your accident will make a big impact on the settlement amount you’re offered.
It’s important to remember that the insurance company will have their own business interests in mind, and this means attempting to settle for the least amount possible. When you settle, you will waive your right to pursue any further damages relating to the accident, so agreeing on a settlement amount is not something to be taken lightly. You should be completely satisfied that the settlement amount is enough to cover not only the medical damages you’re dealing with now, or have dealt with already, but enough to cover potential future medical expenses related to the accident as well.
Because insurance companies will look out for their own business interests in negotiating your settlement, it pays to have an experienced Florida car accident attorney on your side. During the negotiation and settlement process, your attorney will be able to assist you in the entire negotiations process, and will leave you feeling assured you’ve settled on an appropriate amount. To learn more about the settlement process after a Florida car accident, contact us at GetMeJustice.com today.