The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) tracks traffic accidents through the state, and its Crash Dashboard reveals some troubling statistics about collisions in South Florida. So far in 2020, there have been a total of 44,731 motor vehicle accidents in Miami-Dade County, leading to 299 fatalities and injuries to 21,018 victims. If you were hurt in such an incident, it is good to know that you have options for recovering compensation from the at-fault driver. As with any legal matter, there are numerous statutes, court rules, and technical concepts that apply to auto crash claims.
However, you do not need to have in-depth knowledge of all of the laws or go to great lengths to learn them. Your Miami car accident lawyer will take the lead on the legal issues. There are just three basic laws every victim should know:
Florida’s No-Fault Law
Unlike at-fault states where you would always seek monetary damages from the responsible motorist’s insurer, Florida requires you to file a compensation with your own insurance company in many cases. It is mandatory to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, and it is this section of your policy that would cover your losses.
The advantage to the no-fault law is that you do not need to prove the other driver was negligent; the downside is limitations on your compensation. You can only recover up to 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. However, if you suffered serious injuries, you may file a claim with the at-fault motorist’s insurer.
Statute of Limitations
Every US state imposes a time limit on personal injury cases, including those based upon a car accident. In Florida, you have four years to file a lawsuit in court. The clock starts to run on the date of the crash, and it does not stop while you are discussing settlement with the responsible driver’s insurance company. If the statute of limitations expires before you initiate litigation, you are forever barred from obtaining monetary damages. There are limited exceptions to this law, so do not delay in contacting a lawyer about your case.
Even if you have sufficient evidence to prove that the other motorist was responsible for causing the traffic collision, there is another factor that could affect your claim. Florida follows the law of comparative fault, which highlights your own actions in the accident. If you were also negligent, your compensation could be reduced by the amount of fault attributable to your conduct.
Our Miami Car Accident Attorneys Will Handle the Legal Details
These are just a few of the many laws that apply to auto crash claims, but there are many more that will impact your case. Therefore, it is wise to trust our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA to tackle the legal process. For more information on your rights and remedies, please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL to set up a free consultation.