After your accident, you probably have questions about what happens next. Below are some common questions and answers after a wreck.
I was involved in an at-fault wreck caused by the other driver. Is there assistance available in getting compensation for my injuries and damages?
The Bureau of Motorist Compliance ensures that at-fault drivers take responsibility for their mistakes behind the wheel. All drivers must carry liability insurance to cover damages caused by them in an accident. For assistance, the bureau will need the accident report and a certified copy of the final judgment from a civil court in Florida that indicates the other party is responsible for your damages
When the party had some insurance coverage, but no Bodily Injury coverage, and you suffered injuries and damages, the judgment extends the agency’s authority. Instead of suspending an uninsured driver’s license for three years, the registration, license and tags can be suspended for up to 20 years or until the judgment is satisfied. Uninsured drivers with a judgment against them will also face 20-year suspensions of the above.
What must I do after being involved in a collision?
It’s vital to make a police report after even minor fender-benders. Never negotiate payment of the other party’s damages or accept offers from them to pay for yours. You may not fully realize the extent of your injuries or damages at the scene.
Always report the accident to your own insurer as soon as possible. Many insurance companies have 24-hour phone numbers for accident reporting.
Do I need to retain an attorney to handle my claim?
It depends. Some companies will make an acceptable settlement offer immediately. When there are no injuries or they are minor and the damage is only to your property, this scenario is more likely. When there are significant injuries from an accident, damages can be more difficult to quantify and drivers are likely to be low-balled by the insurance companies.
Sometimes, injuries are far more extensive than they first appear. You may miss time at work or have your quality of life reduced because you no longer are able to participate in sports or hobbies and activities that you formerly enjoyed.
A Florida personal injury attorney is a good source to turn to when seeking guidance after a wreck.
Source: Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, “Vehicle Insurance Questions and Answers – Involved in a Crash,” accessed May. 28, 2015