How and When to Report a Car Accident to the Police in Florida

Are you required to report every car accident in Florida to the Police? If so, when and how do you report a collision? In this article, you will learn the answers to both of these questions and more. Generally, Florida car accident laws set strict standards for when and how drivers are required to report accidents. 

Neglecting to follow legally obligated reporting requirements can result in criminal charges (depending on the circumstances) and a significantly weakened personal injury case. 

If you’ve been involved in a car accident involving significant injuries or damages, it’s in your best interest to report the collision as soon as possible. Your next step should be to contact the best Florida car accident lawyer for your circumstances. 

At Schrier Law Group, our car accident lawyers are experienced, skilled, and aggressive. If you’ve suffered injuries due to the negligence or recklessness of another driver, we’re here to help you recover maximum compensation for your damages. 

Contact us today at 1-800-831-2407 for your free case evaluation. Continue reading to learn more about how and when to report a car accident to the police in Florida.  

How Long Do You Have to Report An Accident To The Police in Florida?

Under most circumstances, you have up to 10 days to file a car accident report in Florida. However, if the police are called to the scene of the accident, they will file the report for you. Generally, you are required to file a police report under the following circumstances: 

  • Serious bodily injury occurs to passengers, drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. 
  • Death occurs due to the accident
  • The accident causes property damage in excess of $500

While these are the minimum requirements for mandatory police reporting, your car accident lawyer may still advise you to file a report even if there are little to no initially apparent injuries or damages. 

It can sometimes be difficult to immediately assess the effect of certain injuries like whiplash, back injuries, head trauma, etc. Filing a police report protects you in case you need to file a personal injury claim days, weeks, or months after the accident. 

How to Report a Car Accident in Florida

There are two ways to report a car accident in Florida. You can call the police to the scene or go to the nearest police station or highway patrol station to file the claim in person. If you are too injured to file a report, you can wait until you have the ability to do so. 

However, Florida car accident laws stipulate that you file a report as soon as you’re physically able. Additionally, it’s always good to report the accident to your insurance company, even if it was a minor fender bender. Failure to report your accident to your insurer within the timeframe stipulated in your policy could lead to them denying future claims resulting from the accident. 

Do You Have to Call The Police After a Minor Car Accident? 

Technically, no. You are not required to call the police after a minor car accident that doesn’t cause injury, death, or property damage above $500. 

However, it’s recommended to file a police report regardless of whether it was a minor or major accident in most cases. Doing so will help to protect against criminal liability and strengthen potential personal injury cases. 

What Happens if You Don’t Report An Accident in Florida? 

Generally, if you don’t report a car accident in Florida, you may face fines. However, if you leave the scene of an accident that causes injury, death, or property damage above the threshold, you can be held criminally liable. Criminal hit and run charges can result in jail time, fines, probation, lost driving privileges, and more. 

Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident caused by the recklessness or negligence of another driver, reporting the accident to the police is one of the first steps you should take. Another critical step is to contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Florida.

Our car accident attorneys at Schrier Law Group can help you: 

  • Investigate your case and determine liability 
  • Negotiate with insurance providers 
  • Identify and interview eyewitnesses
  • Connect with expert witnesses 
  • Seek maximum compensation for your damages 

Don’t wait until it’s too late to file a Florida car accident personal injury claim. Contact Schrier Law Group today for your free case evaluation with a top car accident lawyer in Florida

CAN SOMEONE SUE ME IF THE CAR ACCIDENT CASE WAS SETTLED?

If a car accident victim accepts an insurance settlement, they can’t sue you for more money later on. However, someone can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against an individual instead of an insurer. The most common reasons at-fault drivers face litigation is not having insurance or the insurance claim exceeding policy limits. 

Most claims don’t go over policy limits. However, if they do, at-fault drivers should have an asset protection plan in place. That can include appropriate liability insurance and additional coverages. Otherwise, at-fault drivers risk financially devastating lawsuits. 

Fortunately, Florida laws offer many ways to protect your assets after an at-fault accident. However, it’s up to you to take advantage of them. Continue reading to learn the importance of protecting your assets before and after at-fault collisions. 

Can Someone Sue You After Your Insurance Pays? 

Suppose a personal injury claimant accepts your insurance company’s settlement offer. In that case, they can no longer pursue damages against you or the insurer. 

However, if you’re underinsured, a plaintiff and their auto accident attorney may decide that they can get more money by foregoing a personal injury settlement and taking you to court instead. 

That’s why it’s essential to have adequate insurance coverage in place to decrease the likelihood of personal liability in the event of an at-fault accident. 

How Do I Protect My Assets After a Car Accident? 

A personal injury lawsuit has the potential to decimate your finances. With that in mind, there are legal and procedural steps that at-fault drivers can take to help protect assets. Generally, a seasoned car accident attorney is likely to recommend the following: 

  • Talk with your insurer to learn if the personal injury claim is expected to exceed your policy limits. 
  • Learn what assets Florida law protects if the injured party decides to file a lawsuit against you.
  • Design and act on a plan to legally protect certain assets. 
  • Prove to the court that any collection activities would be challenging by submitting a financial affidavit.

It’s essential to note that attempting to hide, transfer, or otherwise illegally protect assets when facing a lawsuit can lead to fraudulent conveyance claims. 

What Options Do Plaintiffs Have If The Damages Exceed The Insurance Payout?

Car accident plaintiffs can exercise many options to obtain compensation for personal injuries. A judgment creditor can access financial records, garnish bank accounts, or garnish wages. Learn more about each below. 

Access to Financial Records

Judgment creditors can review all of a debtor’s (defendant) financial records, including bank statements, tax returns, wage statements, and more. Further, victorious plaintiffs can require the defendant to make a legally binding deposition that outlines all assets and finances.

Bank Account Garnishment

The most common and useful method for collecting car accident judgments is bank account garnishment. A Writ of Garnishment can be obtained from the Clerk of Court. The plaintiff must then serve the defendant’s bank.

When the bank receives the Writ of Garnishment, they immediately freeze all accounts of the debtor. Once frozen, the bank informs the creditor of the account details, including the amount of money in the account at the time of garnishment. 

Wage Garnishment

In addition to bank account garnishment, creditors can also garnish a debtor’s wages. Wage garnishment involves directing the defendant’s employer to garnish up to one-fourth of their wages. Wage garnishment can continue until all debts are paid. 

Defenses to Bank Account and Wage Garnishment in Florida

There are ways to protect your finances after an at-fault accident in Florida. A few of the most common methods to defend your bank account and wages against garnishment include but are not limited to: 

  1. Head-of-Household Protections: At-fault drivers considered the “head of household” in Florida are typically exempted from a bank account and wage garnishment (up to six months’ wages). 
  2. Joint Accounts: Certain types of joint accounts are exempt from garnishment. That’s especially true of accounts shared with a non-debtor spouse who holds equal equity and survivorship rights to the account. 
  3. Exempt Income: Income from sources like social security, disability benefits, and annuities are exempt from collections and garnishment. 

It’s recommended that at-fault drivers review their finances, fix any vulnerabilities, and submit a financial affidavit to increase the chances of avoiding litigation. 

In many cases, if a plaintiff and their auto accident lawyer don’t believe they can collect more from you than the insurer, they will likely settle with the insurance company. 

Contact A Florida Auto Accident Attorney 

Sometimes, “at-fault drivers” are not entirely to blame for the accident. In that case, an experienced auto accident attorney can help you prove the other party’s negligence and potentially avoid a personal injury lawsuit. 

Contact Shrier Law Group today to discuss the details of your case with a skilled Florida auto accident attorney. 

WILL MY CAR ACCIDENT CASE ACTUALLY GO TO TRIAL?

If you’re seeking damages for a car accident, your case may go to trial, but it’s not likely. Most car collision cases are settled during negotiations or pre-trial mediation. 

Generally, insurers and litigants prefer to settle because it’s less expensive and takes less time. However, insurance companies and claimants sometimes can’t agree on a settlement. In that case, going to court with a car accident attorney may be the only option.  

If you’ve suffered injuries in a collision, but the insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement, you have options. Contact Schrier Law Group today to speak with a proven car accident attorney

Continue reading to learn more about car accident trials in Florida. 

How Many Car Accident Cases Actually Go To Court? 

Nearly 95% of all personal injury cases are settled out of court. That means that your case is not likely to go to trial. However, if you do, you should be aware that only 57% of car accident trials are decided in favor of the plaintiff. A few factors that can enhance your chances of a favorable outcome include: 

  • Most insurers prefer settling out of court because they have more control over the outcome.
  • The burden of proof for car accident cases is much lower than other types of personal injury claims. 

A few factors that could limit your ability to win a car accident settlement include: 

  • Lack of proof that the defendant caused the accident
  • Minimal damages caused by the collision 
  • Inexperienced car accident attorney representing the plaintiff 

What to Expect When Appearing in Court For an Accident

Every car accident case is different. Generally, if your car accident attorney cannot negotiate a fair settlement, you can expect the following to occur at trial. 

  1. You and the insurer are unable to reach an out-of-court settlement.
  2. Your car accident lawyer files a lawsuit against the defendant. 
  3. The defendant’s insurance company hires a lawyer to represent them during the trial.
  4. Pre-trial process including discovery, motion practice, and mediation. 
  5. The car accident trial begins.
  6. Both parties present their evidence (i.e., photos, eyewitness testimony, expert witnesses, etc.) while attempting to discredit the other party
  7. The plaintiff may be required to testify and face cross-examination. 
  8. The judge or jury will decide on fault and award damages (if the plaintiff is successful)

It’s important to note that only a slight majority of car accident trials end in success for the plaintiff. If you’ve received an unfavorable ruling, your car accident attorney can take steps to appeal the decision. 

How Long Does a Car Accident Trial Last? 

The length of a car accident trial depends on many factors, including the severity of your injuries, how many drivers were involved in the collision, and the experience of your car accident attorney. 

Generally, car accident trials can be as short as a few days or as long as many weeks. The most lengthy part of going to court is the pre-trial phase. Pre-trial can last for many months, sometimes up to one year. 

Further, the time to conclude the case can be lengthier if an appeal is filed after the original ruling. The best method to ensure the fastest outcome in your case is to hire a proven car accident attorney to negotiate on your behalf before going to trial. 

If your lawyer is successful, you could receive maximum compensation weeks or months after filing your claim. 

How Can I Strengthen My Car Accident Claim?

You can do a few things to make negotiations easier and faster for your car accident attorney. They include, but are not limited to: 

  • Seek immediate medical attention after an accident, even if you’re unsure that you’ve suffered injuries 
  • Note the responding police officer’s contact information, and obtain a copy of the police report
  • Identify eyewitnesses and get their contact information
  • Collect important evidence like photos, videos footage, weather conditions, etc. 
  • Maintain a written account of your injuries, pain, and rehabilitation efforts
  • Contact a car accident lawyer quickly after the collision 

Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney Today

Working with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer can dramatically increase your chances of a successful outcome in your personal injury case. A proven attorney knows how to negotiate with insurers, present compelling evidence, and secure the best possible settlement. 

The car accident attorneys at Schrier Law Group have collected more than $500 million for injured accident victims. Our skilled legal team is aggressive, creative, and ready to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to speak with a proven Florida car accident attorney

DISCUSSING HENRY RUGGS III CAR ACCIDENT AND DUI

On November 2, 2021, professional football player Henry Ruggs III made national news for his involvement in a felony DUI resulting in the death of Tina Tintor. If he is convicted, Ruggs faces 2 – 46 years in prison, a lifetime criminal record, and the end of his professional career. 

However, the penalties don’t stop there. Regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, it’s likely that the family of the deceased victim will pursue a wrongful death personal injury case. That means that Henry Ruggs and his insurer will likely spend many more months (if not years) either negotiating a settlement or going to court for wrongful death. 

If someone in your family suffered a wrongful death due to another driver’s negligence, you might be eligible to receive maximum compensation for their death. Contact Paul from Schrier Law Group today at 1-800-700-PAUL to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney. 

Continue reading to learn more about the Henry Ruggs III car accident, DUI, and potential wrongful death lawsuit

Timeline of What Happened in The Henry Ruggs DUI Case

Understanding why Henry Ruggs is facing felony charges and a likely wrongful death lawsuit requires details about the case. So far, the following information has been released, but not limited to. 

  • Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 3:39 a.m: Henry Ruggs III travels at speeds north of 156 mph while intoxicated and subsequently rear-ends the Toyota Rav4 operated by the victim. The car crash was reported on Rainbow Boulevard in Las Vegas. 
  • The Police Arrive At The Scene: When the police arrive at the crash scene, they find Tina Tintor and her dog dead. They suspect that Henry Ruggs is intoxicated, but Ruggs refuses an evidentiary blood test. 
  • Warrant Issued: Law enforcement officials request a warrant for a forcible blood draw to test his BAC levels. The request is approved. Law enforcement officials draw his blood at University Medical Center. 
  • Results of the Blood Draw: Nevada prosecutors released information stating that Ruggs’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.161 at the time of the accident – which is slightly more than two times the legal limit. 
  • Wednesday, November 3, 2021: Henry Ruggs III posts a $150,000 bond and is subsequently released by the Oakland Raiders. However, he must adhere to all parameters of his release, including periodic alcohol breath tests. 
  • March 10, 2022: Henry Ruggs III is scheduled to attend a preliminary hearing to face the charges levied against him. 

What Charges Are Henry Ruggs Facing?

DUI charges are serious, no matter the circumstances. However, a DUI resulting in death and serious bodily injury carries the harshest penalties of all DUI charges. Listed below are the current criminal charges that Ruggs faces. 

  • Two felony charges for DUI causing death or substantial harm – Punishable by 2 – 20 years imprisonment and fines ($2,000 to $5,000) for each charge if convicted. One charge is for the victim’s death. The other charge is for the injuries sustained by his girlfriend, who was a passenger in his vehicle at the time of the collision. 
  • Two felony charges for reckless driving resulting in death or physical injury – Punishable by 1 – 6 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,000 – $5,000. 
  • Misdemeanor possession of a gun while under the influence of alcohol – Punishable by up to six months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. 

Can Henry Ruggs Be Sued For Wrongful Death? 

Absolutely. A wrongful death occurs when someone engages in unreasonable, negligent, or reckless behavior that results in another person’s death. Generally, anytime someone is killed due to a DUI, their family or estate can pursue a wrongful death personal injury case.

According to reports, the family of Tina Tintor has hired a wrongful death attorney to handle their possible wrongful death lawsuit. They have not issued further statements. However, they will likely pursue a personal injury case against Mr. Ruggs and his insurer. If successful, their losses may be realized via an out-of-court settlement with Henry Ruggs’ insurer, in court, or both. 

Contact a Florida Wrongful Death Attorney Today  

DUI-related deaths occur in Florida far too often. If your loved one or family member lost their life due to the negligence of another driver (for DUI or other reasons), you have the right to pursue maximum compensation for your loss. 

While recovering damages is not an equal replacement for the loss of a loved one, it can help to offset costs associated with their death, including but not limited to funeral costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and much more. 

Contact Schrier Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation with a proven wrongful death attorney to discuss your case. 

CAN YOU SUE YOUR INSURANCE AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT?

If you get into an accident (specifically one that’s not your fault), your insurance owes you a duty to compensate you for injuries and property damages. However, in many cases, insurance providers fall short on their side of the bargain. Insurance companies will often find ways to deny or underpay claims by: 

  • Contesting the cause of the injuries 
  • Disputing the extent of your injuries, or  
  • Claiming a lack of evidence to establish fault 

Many insurance companies are known for denying claims in bad faith or neglecting to properly investigate a claim before issuing a denial. Further, insurance companies are much more likely to take advantage of claimants who are not represented by a formidable auto accident lawyer. 

If you’ve been involved in an accident and your insurance company denies your claim or makes a lowball offer, you have options. Contact Schrier Law Group at 1-800-700-7285 for your free initial consultation with a proven auto accident lawyer

Why Would You Sue Your Car Insurance After an Auto Accident? 

Car insurance can help to pay for medical bills, property damage, and other expenses in the event of a collision. However, in many cases, insurers make lowball offers, refuse to pay out viable claims, and use bad faith practices when dealing with auto accident claimants. 

The most common reasons to sue your own car insurance company include: 

  • The driver that causes the accident doesn’t have insurance, you have Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, and your insurance refuses to pay your damages or makes a low settlement offer. 
  • The driver that causes the accident doesn’t have adequate insurance to cover your damages, you have Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, so you pursue additional damages through your policy. 

If your insurance company neglects to hold up its end of the bargain, you have options. Working with an experienced auto accident lawyer can drastically improve your odds of getting maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. 

Continue reading to learn more about a recent successful personal injury suit against a major insurance provider in the next section. 

Case Study: Ryan J. Burke v. Hernando Lancheros and VL Auto Transport, Inc.

In 2016, Ryan Burke was heading westbound on the I-4 in Orlando. Suddenly, he was struck by a tractor-trailer (going in the opposite direction) and subsequently collided with a concrete barrier. Seconds later, another westbound vehicle rear-ended Mr. Burke. 

Mr. Burke suffered serious back injuries due to the collision. With the help of his auto accident lawyer, Ryan Burke sued his employer, the driver of the tractor-trailer, the employer of the driver, and his insurer (Horace Mann Property & Casualty Insurance Co.) to recover his underinsured-motorist benefits

Fortunately, he hired a skilled Florida auto accident lawyer to represent him. Mr. Burke’s auto accident lawyer successfully negotiated a settlement north of $6 million. If he didn’t hire a proven auto accident attorney, it’s not as likely that he would have received maximum compensation (especially without going to court). 

Should I Sue My Insurance Company After a Car Accident? 

In most cases, a lawsuit is not necessary. However, it’s recommended that you hire an auto accident lawyer to help you negotiate with your insurer. Insurance companies are notorious for making low-ball offers, denying viable claims, and hindering all attempts to receive maximum compensation for injuries and damages.

An experienced auto accident attorney will ensure that your losses are well-documented, all of your forms are submitted without error, and aggressively fight for the maximum damages you are owed. In the event that your insurer still refuses to pay you fair compensation (even after hiring a lawyer), your auto accident lawyer can file suit. 

Further, an attorney can play an instrumental role in pursuing damages from all parties involved in the collision. Attempting to recover damages from multiple parties is generally a complex task reserved for the most skilled personal injury attorneys. 

Contact The Best Auto Accident Lawyer in Florida Today

Our auto accident lawyers at Schrier Law Group let our results speak for themselves. To date, we’ve recovered more than $500 million for accident victims in Florida. We take pride in standing up to the insurance companies, asserting our client’s rights, and pursuing maximum compensation for every client. 

If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to no fault of your own, it’s in your best interest to consult with the best auto accident lawyer for your circumstances. Negotiating with insurers on your own can lead to: 

  • Delayed settlements 
  • Denied claims 
  • Low-ball offers

Contact Paul today at 1-800-700-PAUL for your free initial consultation with a proven Florida personal injury lawyer.