You may be left feeling agitated and with many unanswered questions after a minor vehicle collision, also known as a fender bender. Should you inform your insurance provider? Who was to blame for the mishap? What is the best way to approach your claim? Do you require the services of a car accident attorney?
Your car insurance in Florida will cover damage to your vehicle and medical expenditures up to the policy limits. Your policy will determine what is and is not covered. If you believe your insurance company is treating you unfairly or is refusing to cover all of your damages, you may require the services of a car accident lawyer.
You should at the very least request a free consultation; what do you have to lose? We will give you free legal counsel in a free consultation with a car accident lawyer at The Law Place, so you can move forward with confidence in your next actions. We’ll also let you know if we think you’d benefit from representation. We will provide you with all of the necessary information and answer any questions you may have so that you can make an informed decision.
Our lawyers collaborate so that you can take advantage of our combined experience. We’ll deal with the insurance companies, gather proof, and provide guidance and support. We also work on a contingency basis, which means that we only get paid if you do.
What Constitutes a Minor Automobile Accident?
A car accident is generally deemed small if no severe personal injuries occur, no commercial vehicles are involved, and the property damage is less than $500. In these cases, your personal insurance coverage is likely to cover your losses.
However, you should get legal assistance from a car accident lawyer who can assist you in making a decision about the nature of your accident.
Should I Report a Minor Car Accident to the Police?
Even if the car collision is modest, you must contact the police regardless of the severity of the accident.
You should notify the authorities to the accident scene if there was significant damage or injuries. Florida Statute 316.062 makes this mandatory. If you fail to do so and then drive away, you could be charged with hit-and-run.
If the car collision is small, you may not need to contact the police. Instead, you should file a police report online or at your local station. According to Florida Statute 316.066, you have ten days from the time of the accident to report it to the police.
You can get a copy of the police report by requesting it. For your insurance company, a police report acts as proof. They can be hesitant to help you if you don’t have it. Furthermore, failing to report an accident can result in fines or even jail if the accident is serious enough.
What Causes a Minor Automobile Collision?
Every day, minor car accidents occur on Florida’s highways. They happen for a variety of reasons:
- Errors in turn signals
- Accidents involving bumper-to-bumper traffic
- Errors in parallel parking
- Sliding into another car or a property on rainy roads
- Backing into a vehicle that isn’t visible
- Driving while distracted
These are just a handful of the factors that contribute to minor car accidents. A simple incidence of bad luck, driver awareness, and road conditions may be all that is required for an accident to occur. It’s always a good idea to be prepared and have adequate insurance. Insurance companies, on the other hand, are notoriously deceptive, and if you believe they are not properly handling your case, you may need to engage a car accident attorney.
Injuries that aren’t visible
You may believe your injuries were minimal at the time of the accident, only to feel significantly worse days later. You might feel OK after the collision, especially if your body is buzzing with adrenaline, and you might not have any visible injuries.
Broken bones and head trauma aren’t the only types of injuries. Staining tendons, whiplash, stretched ligaments, and contusions can all have a significant impact on your life. Even in small automobile accidents, these injuries are prevalent, and they may not appear for days after the collision.
This is one of the reasons insurance adjusters aim to contact you as soon as possible so you can settle and eliminate your possibilities of fighting for more compensation after you find you’ve been injured. When an insurance adjuster calls, the best thing you can do is tell them you’re fine and that you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer before speaking with them about the car accident in any detail.
Another reason to report an injury to the police is if the injury is delayed. Even if you have medical records, you may find it difficult to obtain compensation without a police report.
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Minor Car Accident
Following a minor car accident, you should pull over to a safe location as close as possible to the scene of the accident. Take a few deep breaths and check in with yourself for a moment. You should exit the vehicle and share information with the other motorist if you are convinced that no one is seriously injured. Make a note of their name, phone number, vehicle registration, and insurance company. After that, make sure to take a lot of shots of both cars.
As previously mentioned, you may choose to call the cops, or if you don’t, be sure to notify them as soon as possible.
An insurance company may make you a speedy settlement offer. If you accept this offer, you will be unable to make any further claims, even if your property damage and injuries prove to be more serious than you anticipated. A automobile insurance company is a commercial enterprise. Their purpose is to make money; they are not looking out for your best interests.
Accepting the first offer presented to you is a bad idea. Instead, seek legal counsel from a personal injury attorney. They will assist you in avoiding being taken advantage of.
What is the No-Fault Law in Florida?
Florida’s no-fault insurance provisions are set forth in Florida Statute 627.7407. This means that, whether you were at fault or not, you must first seek compensation from your own insurance company after a minor vehicle accident.
Drivers must have specific insurances in order to be covered in the event of minor car accidents. According to Florida Statute 627.736, you must have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP (personal injury protection) and $10,000 in property damage liability.
As a result of these laws, your own insurance will most likely cover your damages in the event of a minor car accident. However, if there was a major injury or significant property damage, you will need to file a claim with the other insurance provider. You should engage a vehicle accident lawyer to increase your chances of receiving reasonable compensation in this case.
Keep track of all your spending as well as any lifestyle changes you’ve had to make. These can be used as proof for your compensation claim, whether it’s with your own insurance company or with someone else’s.
Without a lawyer, how can I settle a car accident?
A minor car accident may not necessitate the services of a lawyer. This is due to the possibility that your own insurance provider will cover the costs. However, there may be unanticipated issues, or the condition may be more serious than you believe. That is why we always recommend that consumers seek a free consultation at the very least.
There are several things you may do after a car accident to ensure that you have a good claim. Get a police report, get medical help, and call your insurance company.
According to Florida Statute 627.736, you only have 14 days to obtain medical treatment in order to file a claim for compensation for your car accident injuries.
Depending on your insurance policy, you may be obligated to notify them of an accident as soon as possible in order to file a claim for damages. Most of the time, you only have 24 hours. However, be cautious about what you say at this moment; do not acknowledge blame or provide many facts about your situation. Simply report it and advise them that you will seek legal advice and review the police report before providing them with any additional information. This will also offer you the opportunity to check for any concealed injuries.
Keep any documentation you have, such as a police report, medical bills, and accident photos, in case you need to negotiate a compensation.
After a car accident, how long do I have to file a claim?
According to Florida Statute 95.11, or the statute of limitations, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim.
However, you should register a claim as soon as possible to increase your chances of receiving just compensation. This is especially important if you are ever involved in a more serious vehicle accident and need to gather evidence for a personal injury lawyer. When memories are fresh, automobiles haven’t been repaired, and CTTV film hasn’t been wiped, it’s much easier to locate solid evidence.
Should I Hire a Lawyer in the Event of a Minor Automobile Accident?
We recommend that you get a free consultation with one of The Law Place’s personal injury lawyers following a small vehicle accident or fender bender. We will assess your situation and provide you with free, unbiased legal advice. You may be covered by your insurance, in which case you can file a claim with your insurer using the instructions you were provided.
However, if a personal injury lawyer can assist you and you consent to counsel, we will immediately begin working on your case.
We built our team of Florida lawyers at The Law Place by identifying people with a diverse set of talents and expertise. We have a combined 75 years of experience, and we take the time to evaluate your case as a group so that we can look at it from all angles. The attorney-client relationship is extremely important to us, and we take our job as your advocate very seriously.
In addition to benefiting from the combined experience of all of our experts, one of our personal injury lawyers will be assigned to your case and will be available to answer any questions you may have.
We will research all areas of your case using our knowledge, resources, and connections while listening to you and your needs. Most of our attorneys have an AVVO rating of 10.00, the highest possible, which is based on factors such as awards, years of experience, and client evaluations.
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If you or a loved one was injured or suffered other losses as a result of an automobile accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. If this describes you, we’d like to hear from you.
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