Immediate Actions After a No-Fault Car Accident in Panama City, FL

Since 1992 Vince Bruner has devoted his practice solely to work as a Plaintiff's personal injury lawyer, dedicated to assisting people injured in accidents.

Immediate Actions After a No-Fault Car Accident in Panama City, FL

Driving safe and driving smart can’t guarantee you’ll never get hurt in a crash. It’s possible to get hurt in a wreck caused by someone else. If this happens to you in Panama City, Florida, knowing how to react in the immediate aftermath can improve your odds of receiving compensation for medical bills and related losses.

What to Do After an Accident That Is Not Your Fault in Panama City, FL

Take the following steps immediately after a crash:

  • Check yourself for injuries. Address any that require immediate care.
  • Safely move to a spot away from traffic. If you can do so without endangering yourself, put out road flares or other such items to help approaching drivers avoid the crash scene.
  • Find out if others involved in the wreck need any assistance. Don’t confront anyone in anger, regardless of how certain you are they caused the crash.
  • Don’t say anything indicating you caused the crash or that you are not injured. You can’t know whether you’ve sustained injuries until you’ve seen a doctor.
  • Exchange insurance and contact information with the other drivers.
  • Call the police to report the crash. An official police report could be an important piece of evidence when you seek compensation later.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene. Capture as many angles as possible. Take pictures of license plate numbers and the interior of vehicles as well.
  • Ask witnesses to provide recorded statements. If you can’t get statements from witnesses at the scene, ask them to at least provide their names and contact information.

See a doctor as soon as the police say you can leave. You must seek medical care even if you don’t think you’ve sustained injuries.

There are various reasons you might not know you’ve been injured after a crash in Panama City, Florida. For example, during a frightening collision, you may have experienced a surge of adrenaline. This can prevent you from being aware of injury symptoms.

Seeing a doctor ensures you receive early treatment for injuries you might not know you have. If an insurer denies responsibility later by claiming your injuries could have resulted from a separate incident, having seen a doctor on the day of your crash can help you establish a link between the collision and your injuries.

Someone Hit My Car: Whose Insurance Do I Call in Florida?

You must buy Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to register a motor vehicle with at least four wheels in Florida. Your policy limit must be a minimum of $10,000 in coverage for medical bills and other such losses directly resulting from your injuries.

Your own insurance is responsible for compensating you after a crash in Florida. Even if the collision resulted from the actions or carelessness of another driver, you would file a claim for compensation with your insurer.

That doesn’t mean there are never circumstances in which you can take legal action against the party who caused the wreck. If your medical expenses exceed your PIP coverage, you can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer for additional medical expenses.

However, if certain details of your case qualify in Florida, you may file a third-party car accident claim or lawsuit to recover compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience, as well as for your medical expenses.

To qualify to sue for pain and suffering, your injuries must include any of the following:

  • Major, permanent loss of a key bodily function
  • Permanent injury
  • Major, permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Death

You will require medical evidence to show that your case meets these criteria. For example, you might have to coordinate with doctors to show why an injury is permanent. You will also have to provide evidence showing that the other driver caused your injuries.

How Long Do You Have to File a Car Crash Lawsuit in Panama City, Florida?

a gavel on a wooden surface in Panama City, FL

Don’t delay when filing a claim with your insurer. Your policy may require you to initiate the claims process within a certain time frame after a wreck. Check your policy for more information.

The statute of limitations in Florida also establishes a deadline for filing a lawsuit against a driver who caused the wreck. You must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the crash. You’ll waive your right to pursue compensation in court if you miss the deadline.

Contact a Panama City, Florida, Car Accident Lawyer

Understanding your legal options in the aftermath of a car wreck can be overwhelming. At The Bruner Law Firm, our team can help you navigate the process. Our firm has served the area for more than 30 years, offering the degree of experience you need from an attorney. Learn more about what a Panama City, Florida, car accident lawyer can do for you by contacting us online today or calling (850) 243-2222 for a free case review.

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Written by Vincent Michael Last Updated : April 3, 2024

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