St. Augustine Car Accident Lawyer

Life’s Not Perfect An Auto Accident PrimerYou never know when it will happen. Hopefully, it won’t. But what do you do if you are involved in an automobile accident. Here are a few ideas.

“No Fault” Insurance and Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
First, you should know a little bit about the law. Florida is a “no-fault” state which means that auto insurance will cover certain risks regardless of fault. It is called personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and is required by law for all vehicle owners in the state of Florida. Everyone who lives in Florida, or who operates a motor vehicle here for over 90 days a year, must have PIP insurance. The insurance company providing your PIP coverage will pay 80% of all reasonable expenses for necessary medical care and treatment. Your PIP insurance will potentially reimburse expenses up to at least $10,000.00. Your insurance company may also pay 60% of any loss of gross income or loss of earning capacity.

On top of your required PIP, you can also purchase insurance to cover auto liability, medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage. Auto liability insurance may be very important to you because it protects those who are “insureds” from legal liability for bodily injury or property damage to others resulting from an accident. Uninsured motorist protection (UM) is insurance coverage for those situations in which the at-fault driver is uninsured or insufficiently insured. Uninsured motorist protection should seriously be considered and may be one of the best bargains in auto insurance. Check your coverage carefully and review your policy with legal counsel if you have questions.

What should you do if you’re in an accident?



If you and another driver are involved in an accident, Florida law requires both drivers to stop right away. You should stop at the scene or close to the scene without obstructing traffic more than absolutely necessary. If possible, the cars should be left where they came to rest unless they are blocking traffic. While it is important to protect the accident scene, obstructing traffic can delay the arrival of police or emergency vehicles or even cause another accident.

Your first responsibility in the even of an accident is to find out if anyone is hurt. If someone is seriously injured, get an ambulance, rescue squad, or doctor immediately. Although not all accidents require police notification, accidents involving injuries, damage in excess of $500.00, or the death of any person, require police notification. If any of these occur, you must immediately notify the police of the accident.

If you are involved in an accident, you are required by law to provide certain information to the other driver. You must provide your name, address, vehicle registration number, and allow the other driver see your driver’s license. You are entitled to receive the same information from the other driver. Also, remember to get the names and addresses of all the witnesses you can. Attempt to have the witnesses write down or tell to you what they know while still at the scene.

With the exception of your exchange of information, you should not comment on the accident. Do not admit you were wrong or careless. Finally, don’t allow anyone to rush you into a settlement. You may be entitled to significantly more, or conversely, you may not be obligated to pay as much. You can safeguard your rights by consulting a lawyer following an accident.

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