As the third largest city in Florida, Orlando is a densely populated area that sees its roads get even busier as tourists head to local theme parks.
For those involved in a car crash, the post-accident process can be complex and often stressful. Here is how you can ensure the best outcome possible and why you should consider working with an Orlando car accident attorney.
The Aftermath of a Car Accident in Orlando
There have been more than 18,000 crashes reported so far in 2023 in Orange County, FL. With over 8,000 injuries and 112 fatalities, these crashes often have life-changing consequences.
The Consequences of a Car Crash
A car crash can have medical, financial, and psychological consequences. Depending on the severity of the crash, the consequences can include:
- Physical injuries, ranging from minor bruises to life-altering conditions
- Property damage to the vehicles involved
- Lost wages due to missing work
- Pain and reduced quality of life
- Stress, anxiety, and even PTSD
Orlando Crash Trends
Orlando is the top tourist destination in the US. Theme parks like Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando are a major draw for the 74 million visitors who flocked to the city in 2022.
For the local 316,000 residents, the tourist season is synonymous with busy roads, traffic jams, and drivers who are unfamiliar with the area. Rear-ending is the most common type of crash, suggesting that bumper-to-bumper traffic is a contributing factor.
Drivers also tend to engage in unsafe behaviors. In 2022, law enforcement reported over 40,000 speeding violations and more than 8,000 charges for careless driving in the city.
Unsafe driving habits and heavy traffic come together to make highways some of the most dangerous spots in Orlando. State Road 400, I-4, the East-West Expressway, and South Semoran Boulevard are among the most dangerous roads.
Why Legal Representation Matters
Florida is a no-fault state. It means that each driver can get compensation for their injuries and property damage through their PIP plan.
With a minimum of $10,000 in medical coverage, many drivers quickly exceed their coverage limit. For these drivers, it's possible to seek additional compensation from the other parties involved under tort law.
However, crashes are often complex. Some scenarios can make the post-accident process difficult to navigate, for instance:
- Heavy highway traffic often results in multi-vehicle crashes. Liability can be difficult to determine.
- Under Florida's new comparative fault rule, a driver can't get compensation under tort law if they are 50% responsible for the crash. Proving liability becomes essential.
- Negotiating with out-of-state insurers can be challenging if a crash involves a tourist.
- Florida doesn't require insurance for motorcycles or recreational vehicles. Some parties might have limited coverage.
- Ridesharing and car rentals are popular in Orlando. Going after ridesharing businesses after an accident can create complex situations.
Legal representation matters. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and ensure that you get fair compensation.
A lawyer can negotiate with your PIP provider to obtain prompt payment for your medical bills and other expenses. They will also help you explore your litigation options if you meet the serious injury threshold.
Insightful Steps from an Orlando Car Accident Attorney
You can improve the outcome of a car accident by keeping these important steps in mind.
At the Accident Scene
In 2022, 662 people left an accident scene in Orlando. It's a criminal offense that can result in up to five years in prison.
Stay at the scene and call 911 if anyone is hurt. If there are no injuries, but the crash caused property damage, contact the Orlando Police Department to report the accident. You can also self-report minor crashes online.
Evidence will help retrace what happened and establish causation.
- Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene. Document injuries and damage to your car.
- Exchange information. Get the name, contact information, and insurance details of everyone involved.
- Write down the name and contact information of any witnesses.
- Get a copy of your medical records and police report.
Negotiating With Your Insurance Company
A common pitfall after an accident is to admit fault. Even though Florida is a no-fault state, admitting fault can limit your options if you decide to seek compensation under tort law. Avoid using wording that suggests you played a part in causing the crash.
You should seek medical care right away if you have injuries and file your PIP claim within 14 days. After you file your claim, an adjuster will review it. If your insurer denies or reduces the claim, your legal representative can get involved to help.
The Advantage of Hiring a Local Attorney
Thanks to their knowledge of local accident cases, an Orlando car accident attorney can help you navigate the post-accident process. You'll benefit from their experience and understanding of the laws unique to Florida, PIP claims, and tort cases.
A local attorney will also be familiar with Orlando roads. Their knowledge of traffic patterns and other conditions unique to Orlando roads can help prove causation or liability.
Connect with an Orlando Car Accident Attorney
The post-accident process can be stressful and confusing. Having a local attorney by your side can make a significant difference and help you achieve a better outcome.
If you were in an accident, fill out our online form, and we'll match you with an Orlando attorney.