Key Points of This Article:
- Florida law uses the concept of pure comparative fault.
- Each person in an auto accident can receive a percentage of the blame and you could receive compensation even if you are partially at fault.
- Due to the statute of limitations, always consult a Florida auto accident attorney as soon as possible to see if you have a case for recovering compensation.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts to drive safely, we still hear the sickening crunch of one car hitting another. Suddenly a car crash has changed the course of the day – or even the course of your life.
Every day in Florida, about 1,080 people are in auto accidents and 685 people are injured. If you were one of these people, would you know what to do next? Your actions at this crucial moment are extremely important.
Here’s What to Do After a Car Crash
You have certain legal obligations after an auto accident. Fail to do these things, and you could find yourself in legal trouble.
- You must stop. Never continue on, figuring it’s not a big deal or you have to get somewhere important. In the eyes of the law, nothing is more important at this point than stopping for the accident. Fail to stop, and you could lose your license or worse.
- Seek help for yourself and anyone who is injured. You are required to get help for injured people. Call 911 for assistance.
- Notify the police. Even if nobody is hurt, if there is property damage over $500 the police must be notified. If you are unsure about the damage, call the police just to be safe.
- Move your car if it is blocking traffic, but not if it could injure you or someone else. A tow truck driver and the police can help you decide how to move safely.
- Provide your name, address, insurance information, and vehicle registration information to everyone involved in the accident.
How Can I Protect Myself After the Accident?
Beyond your legal responsibilities, you should also do certain things to protect your own best interests. Here are some tips:
- Don’t get into an argument or debate with anyone, including the other driver or the police.
- Don’t volunteer information beyond the basics you are required to provide. It could come back to haunt you later.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident and note important information like the weather conditions and road conditions.
- Keep any medical records and bills you incur from the accident.
- Seek legal advice as soon as possible from a qualified personal injury lawyer.
- Don’t agree to anything with the insurance company. They’re looking out for their own interests and can use your statements against you.
- Don’t rush into anything, in terms of giving up your rights or receiving a quick payout. Your lawyer can help you understand your options and pursue better compensation than an insurance company typically offers immediately after an auto accident.
If You’re Going to Sue, Don’t Drag Your Feet
Take the time you need to recover, if you were injured in the accident. But don’t let too much time pass before filing a lawsuit. The state of Florida sets the statute of limitations at four years from the date of the accident, which can pass pretty quickly if you’re busy doing other things.
An auto accident lawsuit places the blame where it belongs and helps you pay for your medical bills, car repairs, and lost wages. Even if you were partially at fault, you can still sue the other party for the compensation you deserve. Sometimes a lawsuit is truly the best way to get the resources you need to move forward with your life.
When Results Matter, Call Kemp, Ruge & Green of Tampa Bay
After a car accident where you may be partially at fault, connect with a Tampa Bay personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at Kemp, Ruge & Green Law Group handle many areas of personal injury law, including car accidents. We believe you should only have to work on getting well, while we worry about using the justice system to protect your rights. We give our clients the best possible results-driven service. You pay us only if we win in injury cases. Call 877-941-4878 today for a free consultation.