How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Florida?
Bill Allen | October 7, 2022 | Car Accidents
Dealing with the consequences of a car crash can be incredibly stressful for any Florida resident. Car accidents often involve many moving parts, including insurance claims, lawsuits, personal injuries, and property damage.
Although your physical and emotional recovery should be your priority after a car accident, knowing the most important deadlines in Florida will be important should you seek to recover any losses.
Reporting a Car Accident to Insurance Companies in Florida
Though every car insurance policy will set specific requirements for reporting an accident, most ask that policyholders contact them immediately after a crash.
Sometimes, you may have as little as 24 hours to make an initial report. Consult your insurance provider to ensure you comply with their protocols. Timely reporting will help you initiate the claims process to recover your losses as soon as possible.
Filing a Car Crash Report in Florida
Unlike many states, Florida law requires all motorists involved in a car crash to file an official crash report with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). These reports include essential information about the drivers involved, the nature of the accident, witnesses, insurance policies, and other details.
Drivers are legally required to remain on the scene and wait for the police whenever certain elements are involved in an accident.
- Bodily injury or death
- A commercial vehicle involved in the collision
- One or more drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)
- Property damage of $500 or more
- A vehicle seriously damaged and requiring towing
Failure to contact the authorities after a severe crash can result in fines and even criminal prosecution.
Minor collisions can be self-reported through the state’s online portal or the mail. Motorists have ten days to submit a crash report following a minor accident.
Statute of Limitations for Florida Car Accident Injury Claims
When settling claims for a personal injury, many car crashes in Florida are resolved directly through the insurance companies of the parties involved.
However, when the involved parties cannot reach an agreement, the courts may be the only way to resolve a claim.
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and permanent scarring
- Miscellaneous losses and expenses
Statute of limitations laws are essentially deadlines for filing claims and other actions in civil court. For personal injury lawsuits, Florida has a four-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident. Many car crash claims can quickly become complicated legal battles and may take months or years to resolve.
As such, if you miss any deadlines, you risk losing your right to recover compensation. Courts will dismiss the case if you try to file a lawsuit when the statute of limitations has expired.
Special Considerations for Florida Wrongful Death Claims
In Florida, wrongful death claims follow different filing deadlines than personal injury claims. If you lose a family member or loved one in a car accident, Florida has a two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Coverage in Florida
Failure to consult a medical professional within 14 days after a car crash may result in a denial of PIP coverage. As such, it’s important you see a doctor as soon as possible if you sustained any injuries during a crash.
Contact an Ocala Personal Injury Attorney for Help Filing a Car Accident Claim
Your best bet after a collision in Florida is to seek the help of an experienced Ocala personal injury lawyer with experience handling car accident claims. They’ll help you identify all sources of compensation, including insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: