According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were over 400,000 motor vehicle crashes in the state of Florida in 2021. As of October 8, 2022, the Sunshine State has already experienced more than 287,000 crashes.
Unfortunately, these statistics indicate that you may, at some point, find yourself in the unenviable position of being involved in a car accident in Miami, Florida. If you do, you may have questions about your legal rights and options.
The Miami car accident lawyers at Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyer often receive questions about collisions. We have compiled this list of FAQs and answers. If you have any questions, contact us today at (305) 937-0191 and request a free case review.
How Can a Miami Car Accident Attorney Help Me With a Claim?
If you are hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you may not be up to everything that goes into the process of pursuing a legal claim.
An experienced lawyer can handle responsibilities like:
- Thoroughly investigating the accident and identifying all potential at-fault parties
- Gathering evidence to establish how the accident occurred and how it impacted you
- Communicating with insurance companies and third parties on your behalf
- Handling the paperwork necessary to advance your claim
- Advising you on whether you should accept a settlement offer
At Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your legal rights and options. Contact us today to arrange your free case review.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Miami, FL?
If you are involved in a Miami car accident, the steps you take immediately after the accident can directly impact the outcome of your case.
Here is a brief checklist of things to do:
- Remain at the scene of the accident. It’s the law.
- Call 911 and request an ambulance if anyone is injured.
- Answer the police officer’s questions truthfully, but do not speculate as to things about which you have no knowledge.
- Exchange information with the other driver.
- Take pictures of the damage to both vehicles and the accident scene.
- Ask any witnesses for their names and contact information.
If you were not immediately treated for injuries at the time of the accident, check for any symptoms in the days following the accident. Sometimes, adrenaline can mask the signs of injury, or injuries may not be immediately obvious. Seek medical treatment if you suspect you are injured.
Keep all original medical records and other documents related to the accident, such as:
- Written letters from the insurance company
- Paystubs or a letter from your employer showing how much income you lost while you were away from work
- Repair invoices
- Receipts for rental cars, tolls, and other out-of-pocket expenses
You will also need to report the accident to your insurance company.
How Can I Obtain a Copy of the Accident Report in Florida?
After you get into an accident, you must file a report with the local police or Florida Highway Patrol. You can get a copy of a report you were involved in by completing a sworn statement and requesting the report online.
You will have to pay a service fee to obtain the report. The crash report will have information that is important to your lawyer and the insurance company, such as the other driver’s name, vehicle information, insurance information, and a description of the accident. It may even include a preliminary determination of fault.
Who Is At Fault for My Car Accident in Miami, Florida?
Fault in a car accident typically comes down to which driver acted negligently. Did one of the drivers violate a traffic rule? Was one of the drivers drinking or texting immediately before the accident? Did a driver fail to yield the right-of-way and cause the accident?
The drivers may have different versions of events, so it is important to try to obtain as much objective evidence as possible, such as:
- The accident report
- Photos or videos of the accident
- Witness statements
- Reports from accident reconstruction experts
- Physical damage to the vehicles that shows where the point of impact was
A Miami car accident lawyer will help you gather the evidence needed to prove the elements of your claim.
Should I Give a Recorded Statement To an Insurance Adjuster?
It is common for the insurance company to try to reach out to the injured victim and ask for a recorded statement. This is an attempt to minimize the value of your claim by getting you to admit something that is adverse to your claim or to make a statement that can later be used against you.
Because recorded statements are typically used against claimants, you probably do not want to give one. You can instead refer the insurance company to your lawyer.
What Is Comparative Negligence, and How Does It Affect My Claim?
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that if you were partly to blame for the accident, you still reserve the right to make a claim against the at-fault party and seek compensation for the harm you’ve suffered.
However, your award will be reduced by your degree of fault. Therefore, if you are found 10% liable for an accident, your award will be reduced by 10%.
What Is the Deadline To File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Florida?
Florida has a four-year statute of limitations for most personal injury cases. This means that you must generally file a lawsuit within four years of the car accident date to reserve your right to receive financial compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Contact Our Miami, Florida Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Evaluation After a Collision
If you have questions that weren’t answered above or about a recent collision you were involved in, the Miami car accident lawyers at Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help. Call us and request a free initial consultation.