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Legal Insights on Rear-End Collision Claims: Protecting Your Rights After an Accident

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Managing Rear-End Collision Claims to Ensure Maximum Compensation

Driving culture is a big part of living in the United States. Whether you’re planning a road trip to see all Florida has to offer or just trying to get back and forth to work, chances are that you’re getting in a car on a daily basis. But this also means that auto accidents are extremely common. For those who are injured due to another driver’s poor decisions, one split-second accident can mean months of painful recovery and tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

Florida Collision Statistics

In 2022, there were nearly 400,000 total accidents in the Sunshine State, averaging 1,089 crashes per day, and many of these were rear-end collisions. More than 678,000 drivers were involved in those crashes, and nearly 16,000 people experienced incapacitating injuries as a result. There were 3,320 fatal accidents, which killed a total of 3,553 people.

Unfortunately, these numbers are on par with the average numbers for Florida over the past few years, with the number of accidents increasing steadily from 2011 to 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were fewer people on the roads, which caused a strong dip in the number of accidents. However, this recovered quickly, rising to 401,540 in 2021.

While these numbers may be shocking, they don’t tell the whole story of the thousands of people who are injured or killed every year in accidents in Florida. These victims often suffer debilitating injuries that cause them to experience significant financial repercussions and make it difficult to work or spend time with family and friends. If you are one of these victims, The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, P.A., can help.

Your Rights After a Rear-End Collision

When your vehicle is hit from behind, it usually takes you by complete surprise. It can take a few days before you are able to process what happened. However, it’s important to be aware of your rights and what you can do in the hours and days after an accident to protect your interests.

Immediately after your accident, you have the right to medical treatment. It’s important that you get checked out by a health care provider, even if you don’t think you’re injured. Some injuries aren’t immediately apparent, and they can be serious.

You also have the right to information about the accident. This includes the name and contact information of the other driver, as well as their insurance information. This ensures that you have the details you need to inform your insurance provider of what happened and to file a personal injury claim later on if your case qualifies. You are also entitled to receive a written copy of the police report for the accident once it is available.

In Florida, auto accident victims have the right to compensation for their injuries. If the damages are within the threshold for personal injury protection coverage, this compensation may come from your own insurance company. However, if your losses exceed the coverage limit, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to attempt to recover full compensation.

Perhaps most importantly, you have the right to legal representation. You aren’t expected to know all of the laws and procedures regarding personal injury lawsuits, and navigating the legal aftermath of a rear-end car accident isn’t something you should go through alone. For example, many people are under the mistaken belief that the driver who hits the car from behind is automatically at fault, but this isn’t true in every case. Working with an attorney can help you better understand your situation and what legal rights and options you may have.

Florida’s No-Fault Laws and Personal Injury Protection Coverage

Florida operates under a different set of laws than many states in the country because it is a no-fault state when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. As long as your damages are less than your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you cannot sue the other driver. Instead, both drivers’ damages are handled by their respective insurance companies. In Florida, the minimum required level of PIP coverage is $10,000.

If you’ve ever been in a car accident before or had any kind of emergency medical treatment, you already know that $10,000 isn’t likely to go very far in our health care system. This is why it’s important for victims to know that they can sue the other driver if their damages are more than $10,000 and the other driver was more than 50 percent responsible for the accident.

Getting Legal Counsel and Representation

If you were involved in a rear-end collision, it’s important that you get the advice of an experienced Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Florida’s laws are complex, and rear-end collision cases can be challenging to determine who was at fault. Remember that you are still able to pursue a personal injury claim even if you were partially at fault for the accident as long as you were less than 50 percent responsible for the accident.

Everyone on the road has a responsibility to drive safely to prevent accidents and injuries, but sadly, not all drivers take this seriously. If you’ve been injured in a rear-end collision and you want to know more about your rights and options, contact The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, P.A., at (407) 287-6757.

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