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How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Florida?

Florida Car Accident Laws | When to Report a Car Accident | LaBovick Law Group of West Palm Beach

Do you know when to report a car accident in Florida? Most people report theirs immediately from the scene of the accident, but many aren’t as sure if an accident needs reporting. Still others may be injured and confused, meaning they may not report an accident as quickly as they should. It’s important you know Florida car accident laws.

You Must Report These Accidents

All accidents that meet any of the following requirements must be reported. The requirements are as follows:

  • $500 in property damage to either vehicle (or both combined)
  • any injuries whatsoever
  • “complaints of pain or discomfort”
  • there is a death
  • a vehicle needed to be towed from the scene of the accident.
  • one of the drivers involved was operating a commercial vehicle
  • one of the drivers involved was drunk

Failing to report an accident involving any of these factors means you will receive at least a ticket for a traffic violation. If there are other crimes involved, the police would pursue those as well.

How Long Do I Have?

Florida car accident laws give you 10 days for when to report a car accident. It’s usually best to report it from the scene of the accident, but if you or others are injured and taken to the hospital, your health and the health of others obviously must come first.

Injured victims have 14 days to seek medical care after an accident under the Florida PIP rule. PIP stands for personal injury protection and is a type of insurance. If you wait longer than 14 days after a crash to begin receiving medical attention related to the accident, your PIP may be denied.

Don’t wait the 14 days to seek medical attention, however. It is much more advisable to seek medical care immediately. This is for your own health, as well as making coverage and compensation easier in the long run.

Seek Medical Attention

Traumatic brain injuries are often overlooked after accidents – especially by those suffering them. Even if you didn’t hit your head directly, your brain can hit the inside of your skull in a variety of dangerous ways. This can lead to a concussion and even worse medical situations that require immediate attention. You will not always realize when this is happening, but medical professionals can recognize the symptoms and address them. A traumatic brain injury left untreated can result in permanent debilitation, chronic pain, and even death.

Your insurance company will want to see what injuries you’ve suffered. The closer to the accident they’re documented, the more of a link is obvious to the insurance company between the accident and the injuries. Injuries that are only documented later – because they’re treated later – give the insurance company more room to deny coverage and leave you with a bill to foot. Getting medical treatment earlier leaves them less room to deny coverage later.

Finally, what if any kind of lawsuit results from the accident due to injuries? The more clearly they’re documented in connection to the accident, the more obvious it is that financial compensation is due as a result of your injuries and the pain and suffering they cause.

Reporting to Your Insurance Carrier

After you’ve sought medical treatment and filed a police report, you’ll want to notify your insurance carrier about the accident. Be clear about any injuries identified or property damage that occurred in the accident.

Different policies have different deadlines associated with them. It is possible to report injuries or property damage too late.

Even if you’re not going to file a claim, it can be wise to call your insurance company and report the crash. This leaves you room to file a claim later should you decide to do so.

Legal Assistance

Florida is a no-fault state, but some accidents can still see a personal injury lawsuit result. This usually happens when there are injuries that cause pain and suffering, impact the quality of life, or result in debilitation, disability, or chronic conditions.

These injuries can often result in the loss of a job, difficulty with loved ones, and personal projects and businesses delayed. There can be direct medical costs associated with an accident, but there can also be these indirect costs and consequences that still demand just compensation. Pursuing a case can help you see financial compensation that can help alleviate or enable you to address many of these issues.

There may be other reasons you need legal representation. Insurance companies don’t always have the best reputation. Some are better than others, and some will try to get out of paying your claim. In this case, legal representation can help you secure the money you’re owed.

It can be very difficult to get the proper medical treatment – especially long-term treatment – if your insurance doesn’t come through. You paid for those policies, and legal help can ensure that insurance companies remain accountable to them.

In Summary

Above all, remember when to report a car accident. Florida accident laws give you 10 days to report an accident, and 14 days to seek medical attention after an accident in order for your personal injury protection insurance to kick in.

Seek medical attention for all involved in the accident first. Then report the accident to the police if they haven’t begun a report already. After this, contact your insurance carrier to report the accident to them – detail all injuries and property damage to them. Update them when any new injuries or damage turn up.

Then contact a capable car accident attorney. Ideally, you won’t end up needing them, but things aren’t always ideal. It’s always best to have a Florida car accident attorney ready to hit the ground running in case any of the prior steps along the way falters. This is the best way to protect yourself.

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