What To Do If You’re In a Florida Car Accident

August 18, 2020
What To Do If You’re In a Florida Car Accident

If you’re in a car accident anywhere, you need to take key steps to ensure safety, to follow the local laws correctly and to best begin an insurance claim.

In Florida, there are specific laws you’ll need to address.

Florida is a “no-fault” state. The “no fault” law is an agreement between the insurance companies and the Florida Legislature.

This law provides that insurance companies are required to provide a certain level of coverage for their insured if they are involved in an automobile accident, regardless of fault.

In exchange, a victim of an auto-accident can only bring a claim against an at-fault party if they have sustained a permanent injury.

Florida Car Accident First Steps

If you’re in a Florida car accident, follow these steps to improve your outcome.

  1. Check for injuries. First and foremost, make sure you and your passengers are safe. If there are injuries, call 911 immediately.
  2. Pull to the side of the road. It is a violation in Florida to block traffic. If you’re able to safely move your vehicle to the side of the road, do it. If you are unable to remove your vehicle off the roadway then please be cautious when exiting your vehicle because other vehicles may not observe the accident and fail to stop.
  3. Check on others involved. If you can safely exit your vehicle, check to see if others involved in the accident have injuries. Don’t assume anyone else has called for help.
  4. Exchange contact information.
    • Get the names, phone numbers, emails and mailing addresses of all drivers involved in the accident.
    • Take pictures of both sides of each other’s insurance cards and IDs.
    • If there are witnesses, get their contact information as soon as possible. You’ll need their story for the required report of a Florida car accident.
  5. Document the accident site.
    • Take pictures of any damage to your vehicle, the other vehicles involved and any surrounding property.
    • Take pictures of people involved and of any minor injuries.
    • Take pictures of the weather conditions, road conditions or construction and visuals like skid-marks on the pavement.
  6. Contact law enforcement. If you are in an automobile accident contact law enforcement immediately. Law enforcement will complete the traffic crash report and the exchange of driver information form. Make sure you obtain a copy of the exchange of driver information form to provide to your attorney. Also be sure to have your license, registration and proof of insurance when the officer arrives.
  7. Contact your insurance company. State the facts of the accident. Avoid admitting fault or blaming the other driver. Your insurance company will make the needed determinations using the information you and law enforcement provide.
  8. Contact the Law Offices of Allen & Abaray, P.A. In order to be fully compensated for your property damage and injuries from the accident it is important to contact competent legal representation. Under no circumstances should you sign any documents settling your claim at the site of the auto accident or shortly thereafter. Many insurance companies for the at-fault driver will attempt to have you sign documents at the scene of the crash or shortly thereafter in order to save money by offering you a bad settlement. It is in your best interests to refuse to sign and contact an attorney. In many cases a lawsuit is not required for an appropriate and fair settlement of your claim. A settlement for monetary damages can be successfully negotiated with the assistance of a qualified attorney. The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Allen and Abaray, P.A., have nearly fifty years of combined experience handling auto accident claims and would be able to assist you in the event of an auto accident. If you are simply unsure what to do contact our office for a free consultation at no cost to you. You may reach the Law Office of Allen and Abaray, P.A. by calling (863) 669-9999.

Additional Florida Car Accident Tips

  • Florida is a no-fault state regarding injuries, so you will need to file a claim with your own insurance company for personal injuries. You’ll still file with the other driver’s insurance for any car damages.
  • In Florida, it’s best to carry full insurance to cover your own injuries. It is strongly recommended that you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the event that you are involved in an accident where the at-fault party does not have insurance or has very minimal coverage. In such an event your policy of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will be very important to compensate you for your injuries.
  • Keep a notepad, pen/pencil and a flashlight in your glove box.
  • Keep all documentation of the accident organized. Other information you want to have:
    • Date of accident
    • Reporting law enforcement agency
    • Report number and name and badge number of the reporting officer
    • Make/model, tag number and VIN of all the vehicles involved

Now You Know What to Do

Car accidents are typically disorienting. Keep these steps and tips handy to help you stay calm and focused.

Remember to document the accident thoroughly. After securing the safety of all parties, gathering information per the steps above should be your next priority.

Finally, contact law enforcement if you are in an accident and seek legal counsel when damages are involved.

The Law Offices of Allen and Abaray, P.A. are available to assist you in the event of an automobile accident and we look forward to serving your needs and guiding you through this difficult process.

If you’ve been in a car accident, please contact us now.