This guide will help you keep track of all of the necessary things you should be mindful of when you are in a car crash in the State of Florida.
Call 911 and wait for the Police
If you are in a car crash, even if it appears that there are no injuries or there is only minimal damage to the vehicles, call 911 and WAIT for the police to come to the scene. Do not let another party involved tell you "let's just exchange information" or "don't worry my insurance will take care of everything." This may prove to be fatal to your ability to make a formal claim if necessary when the information provided to you is false or inaccurate.
Get Medical Attention Immediately if You are Injured
Florida is a no-fault (PIP) state. Your own PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage which you must carry on your policy in order to drive in the State of Florida covers you for medical bills up to $10,000. This coverage follows you regardless of who's vehicle you are in at the time of the crash or even if you are a pedestrian. If you do not own a vehicle of your own then the PIP of another resident relative in your household may provide coverage for you. If that is not an option then you may obtain PIP coverage form the vehicle you were in or the at fault vehicle. Failure to get medical attention from an MD within 14 days of the crash will void your PIP benefits. Additionally, unless you are diagnosed with an Emergency Medical Condition (EMC) your insurance company can cap your PIP benefits at $2,500 instead of the full $10,000.
Report the Crash Immediately to you Insurance Company
If you are the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash be sure to report the crash as soon as possible to your insurance company. If you believe that you sustained any type of injury at all be sure to make the insurance company aware so that they open a PIP claim. If you are a passenger and you don't have any insurance of your own or in your household, be sure that the driver of the vehicle reports the claim to his/her insurance company and ask for them for the insurance company and claim number as that may be your source of PIP benefits.
Speak with An Attorney
Handling personal injury claims and property damage claims on your own can be very time consuming and stressful. Personal injury attorneys that handle car crashes will work on a contingency fee and most likely offer a free consultation. IT is always best to know what your rights are and to make sure you are being adequately protected. Insurance companies will try to take advantage of the unrepresented. The at fault party's insurance company will try to get a recorded statement from you before you have an attorney. Beware of doing this without representation. Also beware of them offering you a "quick settlement" and asking you then to sign a Release which will then forever bar you from seeking additional damages.
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