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Florida Car Accident Injury Claim | Felice Trial Attorneys

Florida Car Accident Claims: Timelines and Process

While car accidents are never planned, understanding your options for claiming compensation after one in Florida is crucial. Florida law gives you a timeframe known as the statute of limitations to file a claim for compensation. This means you generally have two years from the accident date for personal injury and wrongful death claims. While it is important to act in a timely manner, two years is enough time for most situations.

It is highly recommended to speak with a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can guide you through the claims process, ensure you meet important deadlines, and help you navigate the legal system to fight for the compensation you deserve. Remember, seeking medical attention is always the first priority, regardless of legal action. This way, you can focus on recovery while your lawyer assists you throughout the process.

Initial Steps: Filing a Claim After a Car Accident

The moments following a car accident are crucial. Ensure everyone’s safety first. If there are any injuries, call 911 immediately. It is also critical to move your vehicle out of traffic if it’s safe to do so. Once the immediate concerns are addressed, start gathering evidence:

  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS: Capture the scene, including all vehicles involved in the accident, any visible damages, traffic signs, and road conditions.
  • EXCHANGE INFORMATION: Swap contact and insurance details with the other driver. Note down the make, model, and license plate of the cars involved.
  • WITNESSES: If there are any eyewitnesses who saw what happened, get their contact information. They could provide valuable statements later on.

Understanding Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims

The statute of limitations in Florida establishes the legal timeframe for filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim arising from a car accident. This deadline, currently set at two years from the date of the accident, is crucial to understand and respect. Missing it can significantly compromise your ability to seek compensation for your injuries or losses. The statute of limitations serves several key purposes:

  • PRESERVE EVIDENCE: By encouraging timely filing, the statute ensures evidence, such as witness testimonies and accident scene details, remains readily available while memories are still fresh, facilitating a fair and accurate claims process.
  • PROTECTS THE LEGAL SYSTEM: It prevents claims from being brought forward years later, when evidence may be lost or compromised, potentially creating complexities and hindering the ability to reach a just resolution.
  • PROMOTES RESOLUTION: The deadline encourages a sense of urgency, prompting all parties involved to engage in a timely and efficient claims process.

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Navigating Insurance Claims: Your Options in Florida

Filing with Your Own Insurance:

  • PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP): As a mandatory coverage in Florida, PIP offers financial assistance for medical expenses incurred due to the accident, regardless of fault. This coverage typically covers costs associated with doctor visits, hospital stays, ambulance services, and rehabilitation up to a predetermined limit.
  • COLLISION COVERAGE (Optional): This coverage, though not mandatory, offers financial protection for repairs or replacements to your own vehicle, irrespective of who caused the accident. However, filing a claim under collision coverage can potentially increase your future insurance premiums.

Filing with the At-Fault Party’s Insurance:

If the other driver is deemed responsible for the accident, you have the right to file a claim with their insurance company. This claim aims to recover compensation for damages exceeding what your PIP covers, which can include:

  • LOST WAGES: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can seek compensation for income you are unable to earn due to the accident.
  • PAIN AND SUFFERING: This compensation aims to recognize the physical and emotional distress you’ve endured as a result of the accident.
  • PROPERTY DAMAGE: This covers repairs or replacements for any personal belongings damaged in the accident, such as your car or other belongings.

Florida operates under a no-fault system up to a specific point. This means that regardless of who caused the accident, you can initially use your own PIP coverage to cover medical expenses. However, if your injuries exceed the Florida PIP threshold, a set monetary or medical treatment threshold established by the state, or if you experience other damages not covered by PIP, such as lost wages or pain and suffering. You can then pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Common Challenges and Denials in Car Accident Claims

Unfortunately, car accident claims sometimes get denied. This can be due to several reasons, such as missing the two-year deadline to file, lacking strong evidence like medical records or witness statements, or disagreements about who caused the accident.

Don’t give up if your claim is denied. You have the right to appeal the decision, and a lawyer can guide you through this process. They can help you gather additional evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and ensure your rights are protected. Remember, a denied claim does not mean the end of the road. Seeking legal advice can help you overcome these challenges and potentially get the compensation you deserve.

Legal Considerations: When to Sue After a Car Accident

While lawsuits shouldn’t be your first step, there are situations where they might be necessary. Consider suing if your injuries are severe, with significant medical bills and lost wages, as a lawsuit may be necessary to pursue fair compensation. Complexities like shared fault or disagreements with insurance companies can also warrant legal guidance to protect your rights. If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident due to another’s negligence, consulting a wrongful death attorney is crucial to understanding your legal options.

Seeking Legal Assistance: The Role of Felice Injury Trial Attorneys

At Felice Trial Attorneys, we understand that navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries, insurance claims, and legal complexities. That’s why we’re here to help. Our team of experienced injury trial attorneys can guide you through the entire claim process, ensuring your rights are protected and fighting for the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured in a car accident in Florida, do not hesitate to contact Felice Trial Attorneys for a free consultation. We are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and explore the best path forward for your unique situation. Remember, you do not have to face this alone. Let us be your trusted legal advocate and fight for the justice you deserve.

FAQs: Clarifying Your Car Accident Claim Concerns

You generally have two years from the accident date to file a claim.

PIP is mandatory insurance in Florida that covers medical expenses, regardless of who caused the accident, up to a certain limit.

Consider suing if your injuries are severe, involve significant financial losses, or if there are complexities in your claim, like shared fault or disagreements with insurance.

An attorney can guide you through the claim process, explain your rights, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if needed.

While not always necessary, consulting a lawyer is recommended for complex claims, severe injuries, or wrongful death cases to ensure your rights are protected and maximize your chances of fair compensation.


Florida Statutes: