Understanding Florida Law: What Are My Rights After a Car Accident?

September 14, 2015 – Adam Mann

Being involved in an auto accident can be a taxing ordeal—especially so if you’re not at fault. On top of dealing with the physical and emotional damages associated with the incident, many drivers are often unsure of what their rights are and don’t know what steps to take in protecting them.

To prepare you for an unexpected car accident, here are just a few of your rights that can help you deal with the aftermath, should you be involved in an auto accident yourself:

You do not have to admit fault at the scene of the accident.

If you believe that you weren’t at fault for the auto accident you were involved in, you do not have to admit fault at the accident scene. Liability can be established at a later time when all the necessary documentation and evidence has been collected.

Most of your medical bills can be covered under PIP.

As a “no-fault” state, Florida requires vehicle owners to have $10,000 worth of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover costs associated with an accident, no matter who was at fault. PIP allows you to receive coverage for your medical bills under your own insurance policy.

If you were in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to receive compensation for any and all damages that resulted from it.

Typically, this compensation comes from a car accident claim settlement offered by the at-fault party’s insurance company. If more serious damages come from the accident, a lawsuit may also be filed. But although this may be your given right, you must carefully protect it by making sure to: collect/provide appropriate documentation and be persistent.

You have the right to choose your own repair shop for your vehicle.

After your insurance company evaluates your repair costs, they will work with your preferred repair shop, so long as the repair shop of your choice is licensed. You are entitled to have final say in who will be repairing your car.

You can choose to settle a claim or file a lawsuit, but it must be done within a specific deadline.

The Statue of Limitations in the state of Florida allows you to either settle your accident claim or file a lawsuit against the other driver (or vehicle owner) only if you do so within four years of the accident date. One thing to remember, however, is that in Florida, you generally can’t file a lawsuit for an auto accident unless your claim is eligible for the state’s serious injury threshold, so it’s important to make sure it qualifies before taking any other steps.

Find even more helpful resources like this by viewing The Law Firm of Cohen & Cohen’s online blog articles to get you prepared for what to do after an accident, should you be involved in one yourself. For more information, contact us online or call us at 1-800-33-COHEN today.

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