Insurance and Personal Injury Lawsuits
Insurance companies generally want to settle by paying you as little out of their pockets as possible. And if a settlement agreement can not be reached, the adjuster knows your lawyer will likely file a personal injury lawsuit to take the matter to trial. Insurers would rather settle with you then risk the outcome of a trial, where they have to pay whatever the courts award you.
Insurance adjusters are in the business of acting in the best interest of their company when they offer you a settlement. This means the offer will not likely compensate for your losses fairly. They may challenge your fault as the policyholder in an attempt to deny your claim.
Unfortunately, many car accident victims are quick to accept the first settlement offered by their insurance company out of fear of walking away with nothing. This is a common misconception that eliminates any opportunity to go back to the insurer for more compensation when they realize the amount is not enough to cover their expenses.
Miami Car Accident Statistics
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Crash Dashboard for 2018, there were nearly 65,000 collisions in Miami-Dade county and almost 300 fatalities. There are some common trends when you take a closer look at the fatal motor vehicle crash data:
- 15 people on average lose their lives in crashes involving drunk driving and 14 more are killed in drugged driving accidents each year. Throughout the state of Florida, the yearly average in alcohol and drug crashes is 402 and 207 respectively.
- Total motor vehicle accidents are on the rise across Florida, with 403,626 in 2016 compared to 402,385 and 395,785 in the previous two years.
- Fatal auto crashes tend to cause multiple casualties. Over the past three years, the average fatal accidents in Florida is 2,935, but there were 3,176 deaths in these accidents.
In addition to car accidents, there are also a number of vulnerable road user fatalities in 2018:
- 107 pedestrians were killed
- 744 bicycle riders were killed and
- 45 motorcycle riders were killed.
Florida Car Accident Laws
Florida law requires all drivers to stop at the scene of an accident to help those injured. The accident must be reported to law enforcement if the injuries and damages are in excess of $500.
If injuries occurred, you are required to remain at the scene of the accident and exchange contact information, name, address and vehicle registration numbers with all involved parties. It is also a violation of Florida law to block the roadway with your vehicle, so you must move to the side if you can do so safely or arrange for a tow service if you cannot.
All Florida drivers are required to have car insurance and proof of that insurance in their vehicle. The minimum insurance drivers must purchase is at least $10,000 for personal injury protection or PIP, and $10,000 for property damage liability or PDL.
If you are a Florida driver who has been involved in an auto accident, a qualified car accident attorney can help you. Call the law firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro for a free consultation with an experienced Miami car accident lawyer who is well-versed in Florida law and experienced in cases like yours.
*On March 24, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 837 reducing Florida’s statute of limitations for general negligence cases from four years to two years. In other words, a lawsuit alleging negligence which accrued after March 24, 2023 must now be filed within two years of the date of the alleged negligence or the claim will be forever barred.