Owning a car is important for many people. It allows you to create your own schedule and pick up and go when you are ready. But as freeing as a car may be, it can also be very dangerous. There were over ten million accidents in 2009, with over thirty-five thousand resulting in at least one death within a year.
While you may try your best to be careful, accidents can happen at anytime.
In this case of an accident, getting as much information as possible as soon as possible is very important, even if you do not know what steps to take. You make think you, your passenger or your car is fine immediately after impact but some injuries take time to develop. If you do not get information at the time of the accident, it is unlikely that you will be able to find the person later and get reasonable compensation for injuries.
Whenever you get into an accident you should get the drivers name and license number, their insurance information and the car’s license plate number. When dealing with a difficult motorist or a hit and run, the license plate number and a description of the vehicle is usually enough information for the police to track them down later. Finding the person liable for a car accident can be complicated. Unlike buses or large trucks, only a standard license is needed to drive any car in any state. Between rental cars, leasing and sharing of cars, figuring out who is liable can be difficult because the driver of the vehicle is not necessarily the owner.
In Florida, if the driver of the vehicle is also the owner, that person is liable for any injuries to you or your property has sustained. The owner must have insurance that covers at least $10,000 for one person injured in an accident, $20,000 for two or people harmed, and $10,000 for any property damage. If the driver of the vehicle is leasing or renting it, figuring out who is liable for the accident is a little more time consuming. In the case of leased or rented vehicles, liability is based on the term of the lease. In the case of lease that lasts over a year, liability depends on the leasing agreement. If the leasing agreement places responsibility for insurance on the driver, the driver is liable for any accidents and is required to have higher insurance limits. A driver that is leasing his or her vehicle must have insurance that will cover between $100,000 and $300,000 in damages for bodily injuries and $50,000 for property damages. If the person, or company, leasing the vehicle chooses to also provide insurance, the limit must be, at least one million dollars for both bodily injuries and property damage.
If the vehicle is leased for less than a year, then the person, or company, leasing the vehicle is responsible for insuring it. The policy must provide for at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for bodily injury and up to $50,000 for property damage. If the driver of the vehicle is uninsured or has any insurance with limits less than $500,000 combined property damage and bodily injury liability, the person leasing the vehicle is liable for up to an additional $500,000 in economic damages only due to the use of the motor vehicle. But in the case of economic damages, you must go after the driver as well. The person leasing on has to provide whatever the driver cannot. The same rules of liability apply when the driver is borrowing the vehicle.
Accidents are stressful and figuring out the next step can be difficult. Even if you do not think you are hurt or your property is damaged, getting information from the other driver is the best way to be to be sure you will be protected in case you were wrong. If you have been a car accident, you should contact a Florida car accident attorney to review your case to help you review your options. In Broward call 954-961-5100 or 1-877-961-5100 any where in Florida.