If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident in Tampa, FL, it’s normal to be wondering what the next steps are. Navigating the process of filing a car accident claim in the Sunshine State can be confusing and, at times, frustrating.
With a myriad of laws and regulations in play, it’s important to understand the process to ensure you’re fairly compensated for your damages. Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers is here for you. Contact our Tampa, FL personal injury office today to schedule a free consultation at (813) 686-7588.
How Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Florida Car Accident Claim
Hiring an experienced Tampa car accident attorney on your side can make navigating the claim process considerably less overwhelming. The following are some specific ways we can assist you after an accident:
- We will provide a free initial consultation to evaluate your case and determine the best course of action based on the specific details of the incident.
- We will help you gather relevant evidence, including police reports, medical records, and other documentation to build a strong case.
- Our lawyers will ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed promptly with insurance companies and guide you through the claims process, avoiding common pitfalls and mistakes.
- Insurance companies often try to minimize the compensation they pay out. We will negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Tampa, Florida, we’re here to help. Contact Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.
How Common Are Car Accidents in the State of Florida?
There are a significant number of car accidents each year in Florida:
- As of early June 2023, there have been over 160,000 car accidents so far in Florida.
- From these accidents in 2023, more than 1,300 fatalities have been reported.
Looking back at the previous year, 2022:
- Florida experienced nearly 400,000 car crashes.
- These crashes resulted in almost 4,000 fatalities.
- Additionally, more than 160,000 injuries were reported from car accidents in 2022.
On average, based on these data, there are over 1000 car accidents in Florida every single day.
Overview of The Florida Car Accident Claim Process
A car accident claim is a formal request made to an insurance company for compensation due to damages sustained in an accident, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other related costs.
In Florida, a no-fault state, most car accident claims are initially filed with the injured party’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance company, regardless of who caused the accident.
Additionally, lawsuits against the at-fault driver may be pursued under specific circumstances, such as if the accident resulted in significant and lasting injuries. By understanding the nuances involved in the car accident claim process, you can take the necessary steps to ensure you receive the compensation you need and deserve.
How Do Car Accidents Happen in Florida and What Causes Them?
Car accidents can occur due to various reasons, with some of the most common causes including:
- Distracted driving (such as texting or talking on a cell phone)
- Speeding or aggressive driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Poor weather conditions or inadequate road maintenance
- Vehicle malfunctions
Understanding the underlying cause of an accident is essential when gathering evidence for the car accident claim process, as it can help determine negligence and assign appropriate liability.
Liability in Florida Car Accidents
In Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is required for all drivers. This means that in the event of a car accident, each party’s insurance company covers medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault.
Furthermore, individuals cannot file a lawsuit against the other party unless they meet a specific threshold of injury or damages. In these cases, understanding who could be liable is essential.
1. Negligent Drivers
The most obvious party to hold liability in a car accident would be a negligent driver. Some examples of negligent driving behavior include speeding, ignoring traffic signals, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and texting while driving. If a driver’s negligence causes an accident, they can be held responsible for damages to others involved in the crash.
2. Vehicle Owners
In some cases, the vehicle owner, not the driver, may be held liable for an accident. This can happen if the owner allowed an unlicensed or inexperienced driver to operate their vehicle or if the owner failed to maintain their car properly.
If an employee is involved in a car accident while on the clock or carrying out work-related duties, their employer may be held responsible. This is generally based on the principle of “vicarious liability,” which asserts that an employer can be accountable for their employee’s actions performed within the scope of their employment.
4. Vehicle Manufacturers
Occasionally, vehicle manufacturers or parts suppliers can be held liable for an accident. This usually occurs when vehicle defects, such as faulty brakes or malfunctioning airbags, contribute to a crash.
5. Government Entities
In some circumstances, government entities may share responsibility for car accidents. For example, if a car accident occurs due to poorly maintained roads or inadequate signage, the local government may be held accountable for the resulting damages.
The Claims Process
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Florida, it’s important to know how the claim process works so you can protect your rights and ensure fair compensation for your losses. Here are the steps you need to take:
1. Reporting the Accident
According to Florida law, you have a responsibility to report the car accident to the authorities immediately if the accident resulted in injury or death or at least $500 worth of vehicle or property damage. It is also a good idea to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to notify them about the accident, but ideally, you’d speak with a car accident lawyer first.
2. Seeking Medical Attention
One of the most crucial steps in the aftermath of a car accident is seeking medical attention. Under Florida’s no-fault insurance system, PIP benefits will provide you with coverage for 80% of your medical bills related to the accident.
3. Gathering Evidence and Documentation
As soon as you are able, start collecting any evidence or documentation relevant to the accident. This may include photographs of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and any injuries sustained.
Additionally, make sure to obtain a copy of the accident report from the police and gather information about the other drivers involved, such as their names, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle identification numbers.
4. Contacting an Attorney
To ensure your rights are protected and to maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
An attorney can help you navigate through the complexities of Florida’s car accident claim process and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf for the best possible outcome.
5. Pursuing a Lawsuit for Serious Injuries
Under Florida law, if you suffer severe or permanent injuries as a result of the car accident, you may be entitled to compensation beyond what your PIP benefits provide by pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Florida Car Accident Claims Process Lawyers
Navigating the Florida car accident claims process can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through it alone. Working with a skilled attorney who can guide you through the process and advocate for your rights can make all the difference. For help, contact Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.