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Florida Car Accident Laws

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Posted on November 18, 2022

Under this law, after a car accident in Florida, all injured parties seek financial benefits from the policyholder’s PIP insurance, regardless of fault for the crash. It is not necessary to prove that the policyholder caused or is at fault for the accident to qualify for financial compensation through PIP insurance. However, it may be possible to bring a fault-based insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver instead, in certain circumstances.

What Is Florida’s Serious Injury Threshold?

Florida Statutes, Section 627.737 explains the tort exemption, also referred to as the serious injury threshold. This law states that an individual – such as a motor vehicle driver – could face legal responsibility for a car accident caused by his or her negligent acts or omissions in the event of significant injuries that consist of:

  • Permanent loss of an important bodily function.
  • An injury or disability that will be permanent with a reasonable degree of medical probability.
  • Permanent and significant scarring or disfigurement.
  • The death of a crash victim.

With this exemption, if a car accident in Florida causes a catastrophic or permanent injury, such as paralysis, brain damage or the loss of a limb, the victim can file a claim against the person or party who caused the crash with the help of a Tampa car accident attorney. In this scenario, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance will pay for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, pain, suffering and other losses.

What Is the Required Car Insurance in Florida?

As stated above, personal injury protection insurance is required of all motor vehicle owners and operators in Florida. The required amount is a minimum of $10,000. In addition, all drivers in Florida must carry at least $10,000 in property damage liability insurance. This pays for someone else’s motor vehicle damage after an accident. Drivers also have the option of purchasing additional types of insurance, such as bodily injury liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist, collision, and comprehensive insurance.

When Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Florida?

If you get involved in a car accident in Florida, state law requires you to report the crash to law enforcement immediately if it causes injuries or death to one or more people or at least $500 in estimated vehicle or property damage. You can report your accident by dialing 911 from the scene of the crash immediately. If your crash is minor, you can still complete a Driver Report of Traffic Crash form to document the incident for insurance purposes or your own records.

What Is Florida’s Statute of Limitations on a Car Accident Claim?

If you wish to file a claim or lawsuit against another driver for causing your serious car accident in Florida, you must follow a strict filing deadline. Florida Statutes, Section 95.11(3) gives you no more than four years from the date of the accident or the date of reasonable injury discovery to file a personal injury or property damage claim. With only a few exceptions, if you file too late, the courts will refuse to hear your case.