If you are a newly licensed Floridian, have recently moved to Florida, or are otherwise registering your vehicle for the first time, it is important to think ahead to what will happen if you are ever involved in a car crash.
Though it may seem like a topic that could rain on your parade, the truth of the matter is that there’s a chance you could be injured from the minute you get in the car, and being as prepared as possible for the aftermath will be to your benefit.
For this reason, we have described a couple of the most common Florida car accident laws you need to know, including the state’s shared fault law, the statute of limitations for civil claims, and your auto insurance requirements.
If you were partly responsible for causing a car accident you were involved in, you still have the right to repayment from the party who is primarily to blame for your injuries. This is known as comparative negligence, and the only catch is that you still need to “pay” for your portion of fault. Any amount you would have been awarded will be reduced by the percentage of blame you are assigned.
A West Palm Beach car accident attorney gave us this example:
Kimberly wasn’t wearing her seat belt when she was sideswiped by an SUV. When she later brought the driver, who was intoxicated at the time of the accident, to court, she was found to be 5 percent to blame for her injuries due to the face that she chose not to wear her seat belt while driving. Comparative negligence laws took effect, and her $200,000 award was reduced to $190,000.
The Statute of Limitations
Being aware of the statute of limitations is important, because you only have a certain amount of time to file your claim if you have to go to court. This time limit starts from the day of the accident and will expire four years later. Missing this critical deadline will mean you lose the chance to obtain compensation.
Florida Auto Insurance Requirements
Before you even think about taking your vehicle out on the roads, you need to make sure you have insurance, as required by law. The following are Florida’s minimum auto insurance requirements:
- $10,000 per person or $20,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $10,000 per person or $20,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage
- $10,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
- $10,000 in personal injury protection
Many times, it’s better to purchase more than this minimum amount, though, as it often doesn’t really cover the cost of the accident.