What You Need to Know About Florida Car Accident Laws

Being a victim of a car accident creates questions regarding what to do, what to file, who to call, and more. Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding car accident’s in Florida and everything you need to know about Florida car accident laws.

What should I do after a car accident occurs?

If you are involved in a minor crash, self-report the crash. Self-reports serve as an alternative to an officer completing the crash report. Individuals can self-report by completing the form here and emailing the form to SelfReportCrashes@flhsm.gov.

Should I take photos of the car accident?

Be sure to take photos of all involved vehicles in the accident and exchange information with all parties and witnesses involved. Taking photos of the accident ensures your insurance company will have all the information necessary regarding the accident.

What should I do after a car accident with a fatality occurs?

If you are involved in a car crash where an injury or fatality occurred, a hit and run, a DUI crash, a crash with a commercial vehicle, or a crash where a wrecker is necessary to remove the vehicle, stay at the scene and call 911. Section 316.065 of Florida Statutes requires you to stay at the scene and call 911. A law enforcement officer will then complete and submit a crash report.

Should I call the police?

You should call the police after an accident occurs, even if the law does not require you to call the police.

How long do I have to file my claim regarding my car accident?

Legal claims regarding car accidents have statutes of limitations. A statute of limitation means you have a certain time period to file a claim for your accident. Once that time period has passed, your claim is no longer valid. In Florida, the statute of limitations for a car accident is 4 years. From the date the accident occurred, you will have four years to file a claim.

Related: How to File a Car Accident Claim With Allstate

The statute of limitation for filing a car accident claim may vary depending on the accident. If a wrongful death occurred because of a car accident, the statute of limitations becomes two years.

Can I file a claim for my car accident in Florida?

Because of Florida’s no-fault car insurance procedures, injured drivers must turn to their insurance and Personal Injury Protection insurance to get compensation for the accident. Filing a claim against the driver responsible for the accident is only possible in certain scenarios.

In what scenarios can I file a claim for my car accident in Florida?

Because of the no-fault/PIP procedures practiced in Florida, an individual can only file a claim against a third party in specific instances. Claims of “pain and suffering” are not enough to file a claim against the driver responsible. The injuries you suffered must meet the state’s threshold.

Under Florida law, a serious injury that produces a valid claim means the victim experienced one of the following:

  • A significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
  • Permanent injury
  • Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Death

If what you’ve experienced meets any of the criteria above, you can make a valid claim against the driver responsible for the accident.

Can I file a claim as an undocumented immigrant?

Yes, you can file a claim as an undocumented immigrant. Regardless of your immigration status, you are still entitled to compensation for a car accident that was not your fault. Filing a claim for compensation for your injuries and losses begins by contacting your own auto insurance. Because of Florida’s no-fault insurance system, you can receive compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

Related: How to File a Car Accident Claim

Will filing a claim for a car crash impact my immigration status?

If you were injured because of another driver’s negligence or reckless driving, you are entitled to pursue compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and damages. Pursuing a claim will not impact your immigration status.

Should I hire an attorney?

The need for an attorney depends on the severity of the car crash and the sustained injuries. Sustaining a minor injury from the car crash results in a low-value claim. Individuals with a low-value can benefit from the knowledge of an attorney but can navigate the process themselves if desired. However, if you are suffering from a major injury, hiring a lawyer can help ensure you receive compensation for the accident.

Who pays for the damages if I don’t have car insurance?

If you have no private car insurance coverage and are at fault for the accident, no one pays for your damages. If you are not at fault and do not have private car insurance coverage, you can use the insurance of the driver who is responsible for the accident.

If I see a scene of an accident while I’m driving, what should I do?

Florida law requires all drivers to stop at the scene of an accident and help those who are injured. If there are apparent injuries and damages that exceed $500, individuals must report it to their local law enforcement.

Who will pay the expenses of the accident?

There are two ways to pay for the expenses of the accident: through your private insurance or through Personal Injury Protection (PIP). If the accident was your fault, insurance will be the only option to cover expenses. If the accident was not your fault, you can use the insurance of the at-fault driver. You also have the option to use your own insurance.

What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?

Florida requires all registered motor vehicle owners to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP is protection that can cover 80% of the damage and medical expenses of the accident. Florida courts typically cap PIP at $10,000.

Should I take time off of work because of a car accident?

Taking time off of work because of an accident depends on how you feel physically and mentally after the accident. In Florida, if you are absent from work for an extended period of time, there is no guarantee you will retain your job.

If I take time off of work, how will I cover my expenses?

Because Florida is a no-fault state, you will receive compensation for the accident regardless of who is responsible. Based on your Personal Injury Protection (PIP), you can receive coverage for up to $10,000 in lost income.

What if I crashed my rental car?

Rental car companies cannot be held liable for injuries caused by a renter driving the vehicle. If the damages caused by the accident exceed $10,000, you will have to file a claim with your auto insurance. Most auto insurance policies extend their coverage to rental cars.

What if the other party ran away after the collision?

If you are involved in a hit and run, stay at the scene and call 911. Explain the situation to emergency services so they can complete and submit a crash report.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Florida Car Accident FAQs, get your free consultation with one of our Personal Injury Attorneys in Florida today!