4 Auto Accident Laws That All St Petersburg Motorists Should Know

Before getting behind the wheel in St. Petersburg, or anywhere in Florida, it pays to know state laws surrounding auto accidents. While no person plans to get into an accident when they get behind the wheel, it’s an unfortunate reality for millions across the United States each year. On average, Florida alone sees more than 200,000 auto accidents during any given year, and each one of these motorists quickly learns all about the laws involved in Florida auto accident cases.

4 auto accident laws that all Florida motorists should familiarize themselves with are:

  • The auto accident statute of limitations – A statute of limitations is a timeframe a person is allowed to pursue a lawsuit for any sort of case. In Florida, an injured motorist or passenger has 4 years to file an auto accident lawsuit if their accident injuries go beyond what is covered by their personal injury protection insurance. While it is always best to pursue a lawsuit as early as possible, some complex injuries may not present themselves with full lasting symptoms for some time after the injury has occurred. In spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries, it may take years for the full effects of the accident to show.

  • Comparative negligence – In some accident cases, no single person is entirely at fault. Comparative negligence or comparative fault recognizes this, and if your case is brought to a court, it assigns a percentage of fault to each driver. If a person is considered to be 80% at fault for an accident, they may still be entitled to 20% of the damages they’re asking for. If a person is considered to be 10% at fault, they’d be entitled to 90% of their damages. Comparative fault comes into play in accidents in which injury damages exceed what is covered by personal injury protection.

  • Reporting laws – If you’ve been in an accident, you may know you have to notify your insurance provider, but what about the authorities? In the St. Petersburg area, if your accident results in injury, fatality, or more than $500 in property damages, you must notify the local police department to file a report. Even if the accident does not occur within a specific municipality, the Florida Highway Patrol or the nearest Sheriff’s office must be notified so a report can be filed.

  • No-Fault Auto Insurance – Florida is a state that observes no-fault auto insurance laws. Only about a dozen states in the US follow no-fault insurance practices, so it’s most important for motorists to get familiar with these laws before taking to the road in the St. Petersburg area. This means that motorists must carry PIP or personal injury protection insurance as part of their auto insurance coverage, and they’re to turn first to their own insurance policies to cover any damages experienced in a crash. Only after their PIP coverage has been exhausted may they pursue a lawsuit against a negligent driver to cover any other accident damages.

If you’ve been in an accident in the St. Petersburg area, it’s important to have the law on your side. To do this, hiring an attorney to represent you in your case against an auto insurance provider or a negligent driver is your best move. To learn more about auto accident law in Florida, contact us at TheStPeteLawyer.com today.