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In an Accident With a Stopped Vehicle? Here’s What You Need to Know


Car accidents can involve all types of circumstances. While many accidents involve collisions between moving vehicles, accidents involving stopped vehicles are common as well.

If you were in a car accident with a stopped vehicle, it is important to make sure you know what to do next. These accidents are often more complicated than they initially seem, and you could be entitled to an auto insurance settlement or financial compensation from other sources.

10 Important Facts To Know After an Accident with a Stopped Vehicle in Florida

So, what do you need to know to protect yourself after an accident with a stopped vehicle? Here are 10 important facts for drivers in Florida:

1. Florida Is a “No Fault” Car Insurance State

The first thing to know is that Florida is a “no fault” car insurance state. Under Florida law, your first source of financial recovery after any car accident is a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) policy. Personal injury protection is mandatory auto insurance in Florida; and, since PIP provides “no fault” coverage—meaning that your insurer must provide coverage regardless of fault—you can file a claim even if you accidentally hit a stopped vehicle.

2. Filing a PIP Claim Isn’t Always (or Even Often) Easy

While PIP provides “no fault” coverage, filing a PIP claim isn’t always (or even often) easy. The insurance companies don’t like to pay, and they fight their policyholders’ PIP claims by all means available. As a result, even though you will be dealing with your own insurance company, it is still a good idea to get help from a lawyer—and, as discussed below, there may be other ways a lawyer can help you as well.

3. The Stopped Vehicle’s Owner Could Be Responsible

Even if you hit a stopped vehicle, it is possible that the vehicle’s owner could still be responsible for your crash. Of course, if your injuries are fairly minor and you don’t need to seek coverage outside of PIP, then this ultimately doesn’t matter. But, if you suffered serious injuries and your PIP coverage isn’t enough, then holding the vehicle’s owner responsible (i.e., if the owner abandoned their car in the middle of the road with no lights on) could be important for your physical recovery and financial stability.

4. You Could Have a Claim for a Vehicle Defect

Another possibility in the case of an accident with a stopped vehicle is to file a claim for a vehicle defect. Why did the accident happen? Did your brakes fail? Did your tires lose traction? If an issue with your vehicle contributed to causing the collision, then you could have a claim against your vehicle’s manufacturer.

5. You Could Also Have a Claim for a Road Defect

Road defects and other road hazards can contribute to causing accidents as well. For example, if your tires lost traction on a slippery road or a road covered in gravel or debris, you may be entitled to financial compensation beyond your PIP coverage. In this scenario, recovering this additional compensation will typically involve filing a claim against a government agency or road construction contractor.

6. You Should Handle Your Situation Just Like Any Other Car Accident

Given the various possible scenarios, you should handle your situation just like any other car accident. This means that you should collect as much evidence as possible (including taking lots of photos and videos), and you should exchange insurance information with the stopped vehicle’s owner—if possible. If the owner of the vehicle isn’t present, then you should take down the vehicle’s make, model and license plate information to share with your lawyer.

7. You Should Report Your Car Accident

Under Florida law, drivers must report all car accidents that result in injuries or apparent vehicle damage of $500 or more. With most modern vehicles, just about any repair will be more than $500. While you should ideally report the accident by calling 911 from the scene, you can also fill out a Driver Report of Traffic Crash (Self Report) online or print out the form and mail it to the FLHSMV.

8. You Should See a Doctor If You Are In Pain

If you are experiencing pain or any other symptoms as a result of your car accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. While you have up to 14 days to see a doctor and still remain eligible for PIP, you do not want to wait any longer than necessary. Not only could waiting to seek treatment potentially lead to unnecessary health complications, but it could lead to unnecessary complications with your claim as well.

9. You Should Choose Your Own Repair Shop

When getting your car repaired after an accident with a stopped vehicle (or after any other type of car accident), you should always choose your own repair shop. Just like the insurance companies, shops that work with the insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind. Go to a shop you trust; or, if you don’t have one, ask for recommendations from your local friends or family members.

10.  You Should Contact a Lawyer for a Free Consultation

From securing PIP coverage to filing a claim for a vehicle or road defect, there are several ways a lawyer can help you after a car accident with a stopped vehicle. Just like seeing a doctor, it is best to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Your initial consultation is free, and you don’t have to pay anything unless you win.

Discuss Your Car Accident with a Lawyer at Searcy Denney

Were you injured in a car accident involving a stopped vehicle in Florida? If so, our lawyers can help you move forward. To discuss your situation with an experienced lawyer in confidence, please call 800-780-8607 or tell us how we can contact you to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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