Accident Lawyer Gainesville Fl – Although newer cars come with safety technology that makes them safer, millions of car accidents occur in the US. According to Forbes, Americans are involved in an accident every 17.9 years, meaning you can expect to be involved in three to four accidents in your lifetime. Florida alone had 400,831 accidents in 2019. If you are involved in an accident, you will face many problems. If you have been injured, chances are you will be compensated for your damages. Following these 10 critical steps after an accident can help you build a strong claim so you can easily recover all your damages.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident in the Gainesville area, our attorneys can help. At Rush & Frisco Law, our auto accident attorneys have significant experience handling all types of auto collision cases.
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Getting into a car accident in Florida can be difficult for many people. After your accident, you may not know what to do. Following 10 critical steps after a Florida car accident can help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve. If you know what to do after an accident at the scene and the process of filing a complaint with your insurance company and the driver’s insurance company, you are more likely to be successful in negotiating compensation. A personal injury attorney can get you more compensation than you could recover without legal help when you’ve been seriously injured.
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Immediately after an accident, you should stop and wait at the scene or park as close to the scene as safely possible. Check everyone for injuries and call 911. If someone is injured, administer first aid until help arrives.
When you call 911, tell the dispatcher where your accident happened, if anyone was injured, and if you need the police, an ambulance, or a tow truck. Pinpoint the exact location of your accident with crosswalk or highway mile marker information. Tell the operator what the scene looks like, including information about hazards such as downed power lines or fuel leaks. Make sure you tell the dispatcher if someone is injured or needs help.
After most accidents, police and emergency responders will be dispatched to the scene if there are injuries or if they are obstructing traffic. If your accident is a fender-bender and happens in a big city, the police will not be sent to the scene.
If your accident happened in the city, the city police department will handle your case. The Sheriff’s Department will be dispatched if an incident occurs outside of city limits. If your accident occurred on a state highway, officers from the Florida Highway State Patrol will be dispatched. Check with the responding agency so you know where to get a copy of the police report.
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Definition of Accident: The operation of a motor vehicle in the state that results in property damage, bodily injury claim, bodily injury or death to any person.
Some accidents do not need to be reported. Whether you need to report your accident will depend on the damage and whether anyone was injured. Under Fl. Mathematics. § 316.065, any accident resulting in damage or injury of $500 or more must be reported to the local police as soon as possible. If you call 911, that call will meet the requirement. If you send an officer to the scene and file a report, you do not need to file a separate report. If your accident involves injury or death, more than $500 in property damage, a hit-and-run, or a drunk driver, you must submit a crash report to the Florida Highway Patrol within 10 days if the officer does not file a crime. Report under Fl. Mathematics. § 316.066. You can complete and submit a crash report on the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.
Police are trained on how to investigate accident scenes. When dispatched to the scene of an accident, the police will perform several tasks. The police have powers to:
The police are not obliged to talk to you about the cause of your accident. You must provide the officer with information that identifies you, including your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. If a police officer asks you if you are using drugs or engaging in other activities that could lead to criminal charges, you have the right to remain silent. Police officers can issue you a citation if they think you have violated traffic rules. If a certificate is issued, you must accept and sign it. Your signature only shows that you will appear in court. You can dispute the traffic citation at that time.
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Evidence will be important after your accident if you were injured and suffered property damage. You need evidence to support a claim for compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The moments after your accident are important. If you can collect evidence while you are at the scene, it can help your claim. Gathering evidence can help you show that the other driver was at fault and that the accident caused your injuries and damages. Collect the following types of information while at the scene of the accident.
Be sure to get the names and contact information of any witnesses to what happened. Take photos and videos of the scene, including damage, weather, traffic control equipment and other relevant information. Take pictures of your injury. As soon as possible, write down what you remember about your accident and include as many details as possible. Draw a scene diagram showing the position of the vehicles before and after your accident. Write down how you and the other driver were traveling and the average speed of each vehicle. When recording video, make sure your sound is on. This can help capture any acknowledgment of fault, insurance and other relevant information and prevent people from changing their stories later. If you can get a witness to write a statement of what they saw and heard, that would also be helpful. Ask the witness to give their full name and contact information and sign any statement they give.
Florida has a no-fault insurance law that requires all drivers to have personal injury coverage in their auto insurance policy. If you have been injured in an accident, you should file a claim with your insurance company for compensation. Your PIP insurance will cover your out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages and medical bills up to your policy limits. However, you cannot recover damages for pain and suffering through your PIP insurance. Your PIP insurance will cover you, other people living in your home or driving your car. It also covers injured passengers in your accident. Under Fl. Statistics. § 627.736, PIP coverage must be provided in the following minimum amounts:
While you must file a claim with your insurance company, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver if your injuries exceed the personal injury limits. Under Fl. Statistics. § 627.737, exceeding the personal injury limit means that one of the following circumstances has occurred:
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In addition to PIP, your auto insurance must also provide at least $10,000 in property damage coverage. However, you don’t need to use your insurance to cover the damage to your car. You can choose to file a property damage claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or with your own insurance company. You can also file a lawsuit against the other driver to recover the repair costs.
Your insurance is a legal contract between you and your insurance company. The policy obligates your insurance company to protect you after an accident and provide coverage up to your policy limits. You are responsible for reporting your accident to your insurance company even if you believe the other driver was at fault. You should also work with your insurance company after your accident. If you do not cooperate with your insurance company during the investigation of your accident, your insurance may be canceled or your premiums may be increased.
Even if your accident isn’t serious, there are reasons why you should report it to your insurance company. If the other driver is injured beyond the injury limit, they can file a claim with your insurance company. Working with your insurance company means you have to report your accident. If you don’t, you will be breaking your contract.
Some injuries may have delayed symptoms. It can take days for symptoms to appear, other drivers or passengers
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