Florida is always a top destination for tourist travel, meaning many out-state drivers can be found on our busy roadways. What happens if one of these foreign drivers injures you in a car accident and they have insurance coverage in another state? Can you still sue that driver from another state? Will their insurance still cover them for a crash that happened in Florida?
For any crash that happens in Florida, the law of Florida will apply. First, it is important to know that Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, meaning that after an accident, your own auto insurance, through Personal Injury Protection (PIP), covers 80 percent of the reasonable and necessary medical bills, or 60 percent of your lost wages, up to $10,000, regardless of who is at fault. Many people are often bothered that their personal insurance is involved and pays first, but that is the law in Florida, where bodily injury insurance, which would cover the harms and losses above the PIP limits including medical bills and lost wages in the past and future, pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and other intangible damages, is not required.
For a serious injury, assuming that the at-fault foreign driver had bodily injury coverage, you are entitled to make a claim for full and fair compensation of all of your damages. Typically, auto insurance companies cover accidents that the insured party causes in all 50 states. This is true whether that person is in his vehicle, a rental or driving the car of a friend of family member with permission. There are certain exclusions or limitations in some insurance policies, which is why one of our first steps is to obtain a certified copy of the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy and to review it carefully.
Lawsuits can also be filed against out of state drivers for a crash that occurred in Florida. Even though that person was just visiting Florida, he is subject to Florida’s jurisdiction and the law of Florida will apply. The lawsuit would generally need to be served on the at-fault driver in the jurisdiction where he resides, and his deposition would most likely occur in his home state as well. To be successful in a suit for damages arising out of a car crash in Florida, we must prove that the crash was someone else’s fault, that you were injured as a result of the crash and that your injuries are permanent.
If you live in another state and were injured in a car crash in Florida, you too have rights and may file suit here. Florida law will also apply in that circumstance, and you will be subjecting yourself to Florida jurisdiction. As the claimant or Plaintiff, you may have to return to Florida for your deposition, mediation, trial and/or other related proceedings.
Below are some helpful tips in the event that you are involved in a car accident, regardless of whether the at-fault driver is a Floridian:
- Call 911 for the police to come out, file an accident report, and provide emergency medical assistance to anyone in need.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver. This includes writing down their name, address, phone number, and email, as well as taking a photo of their driver’s license, insurance card, and registration card.
- Take down the name, address, phone number, and email addresses for any witnesses.
- Take photos and videos of both cars, any debris on the road, any other pertinent information at the scene, and any visible injuries that you or your passengers have incurred. If you are not sure if something is important to photograph or not, err on the side of caution and photograph it.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the stronger the argument the opposing side can make that your injuries were caused by something other than the accident. More importantly, the longer you wait, the more pain you will be in, and it may delay your recovery.
- Contact a Florida-based personal injury law firm, like Cutler Rader, to provide a case evaluation. Even if the accident involves someone from out-of-state, since the accident occurred in Florida, it will be under Florida’s jurisdiction. This means that the accident will be subject to Florida laws and if a lawsuit is filed, it will be filed in a Florida court.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you deserve justice. Contact Cutler Rader today to discuss your case with our experienced personal injury attorneys. Whether the person who caused your injuries is from Deerfield Beach, Florida or Deerfield, Illinois, we will seek them out and fight aggressively for you to receive your fair compensation.
Cutler Rader, P.L.
With over 75 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Cutler Rader understand the meaning of Justice. Our one and only mission is to get each client the justice he or she deserves; our team of attorneys never back down when we know our client is right.
We offer our clients the compassion and guidance they need as they work through trying times in their lives. The balance of working relentlessly for our clients combined with our caring approach has helped us achieve a fantastic record of success with our clients. We get our clients the justice they deserve.
At Cutler Rader, You matter. Your justice matters. Your Justice Starts Here. 954-913-2273.