Visitor Question

What happens in auto accident with no damage to my car?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Orlando, Florida)

I made a left turn into a road. I then realized that a car was going over the speed limit and was approaching me fast from behind. I changed lanes to avoid an accident, but so did the other driver, who oversteered and hit the sidewalk, blowing up one tire.

My car was not hit and had no damage. We exchanged information with the other driver.

Who would be considered at fault in an accident like this? Should I report the accident to my insurance?

I don’t want my rates to go up, since I had an earlier minor accident that resulted in no damage to either vehicle, which I already reported to my insurance.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Based on the facts, you likely have nothing to be concerned with. There is a law contained in the State of Florida Motor Vehicle Code, Section 316.0895 (1), commonly referred to as the “Following too Closely” law. The law reads in part:

“The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the highway.”

In your case, it appears the other driver was in violation of this law. The driver should not have been speeding, and certainly was following you too closely.

There is a difference between reporting an accident to an insurance company and filing a claim. It is the filing of a claim which often results in a hike in the driver’s insurance premiums. In most cases this isn’t the case when the driver (the insured) merely reports an accident.

Under most driver’s insurance policies there is a clause which states that all insured drivers are required to report a traffic accident. Your insurance policy is a contract. By purchasing the insurance coverage you agreed to abide by the policy’s requirements, and the insurance company agreed to pay all valid claims up to the limits of your policy.

There is a second reason. While it is unlikely the other driver will file an accident claim with your insurance company, there is always a chance they will. If the driver were to file a claim with your insurance, and you had failed to report the accident, your insurance company would be unaware of the facts of the claim, except those facts rendered by the other driver.

That’s why it is so important to report the accident to your insurance company. They want to hear your side of the accident before speaking with the other driver.

For these reasons it would be a very good idea for you to report the accident to your insurance company. Remember, by reporting the accident to your insurance you are not filing a claim, but are instead complying with the terms of your policy.

Based on the facts, if the other driver does contact your insurance company to file a claim, it is unlikely your insurance would agree to pay the claim. This is especially true considering Florida’s Following Too Closely law.

Therefore, no adverse action will likely be taken against you by your insurance company.

Learn more here: Florida Car Accident Guide

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck with your claim,

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