Important Car Accident Laws in Aventura
After a car accident, it’s crucial to understand how car accident laws in Aventura may affect your right to compensation for your injuries and damages that incurred due to a car crash. The following laws may affect your case:
- Florida is a no-fault state. This means you will work with your own car insurance company before making a claim against a third party’s insurance policy.
- Florida uses the comparative fault model when determining legal responsibility in a car accident. Below is an explanation of how comparative fault determines how responsibility is shared for damages.
- There is a deadline to file a claim after a car accident. In Florida, this deadline or statute of limitations is 4 years. The deadline to seek medical care is just 14 days.
- If damages surpass $500, drivers involved in an accident are required to report the crash to law enforcement.
Recommended Car Insurance Coverage in Aventura
Florida is a no-fault insurance state which means your insurance policy will pay for your damages and injury in an accident — but only if you have sufficient coverage for the accident.
Under Florida law, Aventura drivers are required to carry no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage (PD) coverage. PIP usually pays 80% of medical expenses for you and your passengers but it may not cover all expenses. This is why Property Damage coverage is also important, especially if you are found even partially at fault for an accident.
The following types of coverage are recommended to protect you and your family if you are involved in an accident, regardless of fault:
- Bodily Injury Coverage: This coverage protects you if someone else makes an injury claim against you.
- Collision Coverage. This covers damage to your vehicle in a crash.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This pays for your claim if you were not at fault for the accident and the other driver had no insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay your claim. It also covers you if you were hit by a hit-and-run driver.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP). While mandated by Florida law, it’s important to get more than the minimum $10,000 coverage as this won’t go far with even a moderate injury.
Aventura Car Accident Liability Rules
One of the most important elements in any car accident case is establishing liability, or determining who was at fault for the accident. Most car accidents are caused by negligence or reckless behavior. In many cases, both drivers share some amount of responsibility. For example, while one driver may have been speeding, the other may have been distracted with a smartphone and failed to brake in time.
Most states use a modified comparative fault model, but Florida uses a pure comparative fault model when determining who will pay for damages in an accident. We are also a no-fault state. This means that no matter who was at fault for the accident, your personal injury protection (PIP) will pay for your injuries and property damages unless you suffered a permanent injury or disfigurement. Aventura drivers are required by law to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage.
Only when your injury claim meets certain requirements can you bring a claim directly against an at-fault driver. The following situations may allow you to hold a third party accountable and step outside of the “no-fault” law:
- Permanent or significant disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent injury
- Permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function like walking
- A fatality
If you do need to establish fault in the accident, your Aventura car accident attorney will use evidence such as photographs, witness interviews, and expert testimony to potentially establish the other driver’s responsibility.
How Pure Comparative Fault Works in Florida
Under Florida’s pure comparative fault system, compensation is awarded to injured parties in a car accident by a percentage of attributed fault. The details of the accident and evidence are considered to assign each party a share of the responsibility or liability.
If you are found 65% at fault for the accident, the other party may be liable for 35% of your injuries and property damage. Everyone involved in the crash will share a proportionate amount of restitution no matter who is primarily liable. Unlike some states, Florida law allows you to collect some compensation even if you were more than 50% responsible for the accident. However, the percentage you receive in compensation can be limited by the degree to which you and the other driver were responsible for the crash.
Common Types of Accidents in Aventura
Traffic accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. Unfortunately, the risk of getting into a car accident is higher in Aventura and other areas of Miami-Dade County than most places in Florida. Miami-Dade County has more car accidents reported than anywhere else in the state which already has the highest amount of traffic accidents in the U.S.
The following are the most common types of car accidents in Aventura, FL.
- Distracted Driving. Distractions like using a phone, eating, or talking to a passenger can prove fatal while driving. Distracted driving is responsible for more than 50,000 car accidents across Florida every year, the second-highest number in the country. In Miami-Dade County, there are 12 distracted driving accidents every day.
- Drunk Driving. Driving under the influence with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher comes with serious penalties, even for a first-time offense. Alcohol plays a role in almost one-third of all traffic accident fatalities in Aventura.
- Hit & Run. There are about 52 hit-and-run accidents in Miami-Dade and Aventura every day. Under Florida law, all parties in a traffic accident must remain at the scene until they’re released by law enforcement. Someone who leaves the scene of an accident involving an injury may face a third-degree felony and up to 5 years in prison. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is important to protect you in a hit-and-run by paying your claim if the other driver can’t be found.
- Pedestrian Accidents. Aventura may not be as busy as Miami, where pedestrian accidents have reached epidemic levels, but the city still sees many pedestrian accidents every year. In a traffic accident, pedestrians can face serious and life-threatening injuries and even death. In one recent year, 83 people were run over in Miami-Dade County alone.
Check out our blog for answers to questions like “What are Florida’s liability laws & statute of limitations for a car accident injury lawsuit?” or “When can I sue for damages after a car accident?” If you have more questions or simply want to discuss with a legal professional, give us a call for a review of your case after being injured in a car crash.
Contact an Aventura Car Accident Lawyer
You most likely have hundreds of questions about how car accident injury cases work, if you can prove the negligence of another driver caused your injury, and if you have grounds to sue for compensation. It’s normal to have questions, and that’s where we come in – with the legal expertise you need. If you have been injured in a car accident, our experienced car accident attorneys at SteinLaw in Aventura can help you protect your rights and explore your legal options to seek fair compensation for your injuries. We understand how difficult it is to go through the trauma and pain of suffering a car accident injury and want to help you. We’ll fight for you with an aggressive case that gives you recovery for medical bills, missed work, and other costs caused by your car accident in Aventura. Contact SteinLaw today to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Brandon Stein to review your case.