What to Know About Filing a Car Accident Claim | Rubén J. Padrón, PA

What to Know About Filing a Car Accident Claim

September 27, 2018

Car accidents are an unfortunate reality and a part of life here in Florida, as in the rest of the United States. However, Florida has a reputation for having even more car accidents than the vast majority of other states in the nation, so it’s important to know the steps you need to take to file an accident claim if you suddenly find yourself the victim of another driver’s negligence.

With this in mind, here is an overview of some of the most important information regarding filing a car accident claim with the assistance of an auto accident attorney in Miami, FL.

Statute of limitations

Every state has its own statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim after being in an auto accident. This is the amount of time you have to file the claim in court. A failure to abide by the statute of limitations will likely result in your case being automatically dismissed, meaning you won’t get the compensation you may otherwise deserve.

In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury or property damage complaint after a car accident is four years from the date of that accident. There are some rare exceptions, but this is the general statute of limitations you should keep in mind.

Reporting an accident

We frequently have clients ask us whether they are legally required to report an accident or not. The answer is yes, in many circumstances—under Sec. 316.065 of the state statutes, you are required to immediately contact law enforcement for any accident that involves injury, death or property damage greater than $500. The police officer will then create an official police report for these accidents.

For accidents that do not require you to contact police, such as in cases with minor car damage, you are still required to file a crash report of your own within 10 days after the incident.

In addition, you are required under state law to provide “reasonable assistance” to anyone who’s been injured, after you’ve moved your vehicle to a safe spot off the road. You must also exchange your contact and insurance information with other drivers. It’s at this point that you’ll also collect witness information and take photographs.

Insurance

Florida has a no-fault car insurance system, which means all medical bills and other expenses will first be covered by your own insurance policy, no matter who was at fault in the accident. You can pursue property damage claims against the negligent driver’s insurance, though. The state requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and another $10,000 in property damage liability coverage.

You have the right to seek additional damages for lost wages, non-economic damages and, in rare cases, punitive damages. Your attorney can advise you more about the best strategies for recovering these damages.

For more information about how to proceed with your auto accident claim, contact an experienced auto accident attorney in Miami, FL at the offices of Ruben J. Padron, PA.

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