What if I Was Injured in a Car Accident in FL but Live in Another State?
Florida visitors often choose to rent vehicles to explore the vast state. Car accidents can happen to anyone visiting Florida, regardless of where you reside.
It is not surprising that many car accidents in Florida involve drivers who are not from the state. They are likely unfamiliar with Florida’s turning lanes, local traffic laws, and other road signals, which can increase the likelihood of a collision. Handling car accident compensation can seem more complicated with an out-of-state driver, but having a basic understanding of Florida insurance law and working with our team can help you resolve the issues that arise during these stressful situations.
Contact the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. at (954) 751-4258 for a free case review with our Florida car accident attorneys.
What Should I Do if I Was Injured in a Car Accident in Florida but Live in Another State?
Determining where to file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident can be a complex process. The location of the defendant’s residence and the location of the accident are the two primary factors that determine the jurisdiction. For instance, let’s say you are an out-of-state resident visiting Florida for a vacation, and while driving around Miami, your car is hit by another driver who was texting. However, the at-fault driver is a resident of Alabama who was also visiting Florida at the time of the accident.
In such a scenario, you have two legal options. You can either sue the defendant in the state they reside or file a lawsuit in the state where the accident occurred, which in this case would be Florida. It’s worth noting that the convenience of the injured party is not a factor in deciding where to file a claim. The legal jurisdiction is determined solely by the location of the defendant and where the accident took place.
If you were hit by a Florida driver, it is usually best to sue them where they reside, which is where the accident occurred in most cases. Fortunately, our Miami car accident lawyers can help determine each court you have the right to file your case in. However, the state where your lawsuit is filed laws will be used to determine your case.
How Do I Recover Compensation After a Car Accident in Florida if I Live in Another State
Navigating the roads in Florida can be challenging, especially for drivers who are unfamiliar with the area. Tourists and visitors who rent cars often find themselves driving on busy and complex highways without a proper understanding of how they operate. Moreover, drivers who are from out-of-state might be unsure about their insurance coverage in the event of an accident, which could result in unexpected expenses.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Fortunately, the state of Florida has taken steps to address this issue. To protect motorists, Florida law mandates that all drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This coverage is designed to offer financial protection for policyholders, regardless of who was at fault for an accident.
Should an accident occur, drivers can file a claim with their insurance company to cover medical expenses and other related costs. This no-fault system ensures that drivers have the necessary coverage to navigate the roads safely and with peace of mind.
PIP insurance is a policy that provides coverage for a person’s injuries and damages resulting from a car accident. However, it is essential to note that the coverage might have limitations, especially in serious accidents involving catastrophic injuries. PIP insurance only covers 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost income up to the policy limit, which is a minimum of $10,000 in Florida.
When a person’s PIP policy cannot fully cover their damages, they can pursue a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover the remaining costs. Filing a lawsuit in Florida is subject to a “serious injury” threshold, which is defined in detail in Florida Statute § 627.737(2). According to this statute, a number of injuries are considered qualifying injuries, including permanent injuries that have been diagnosed by a doctor, significant loss of bodily functions, disfigurement, serious scarring, and wrongful death.
These categories of injuries are defined in a way that reflects the severe impact they can have on a person’s life, and they provide a clear framework for determining whether a lawsuit can be filed.
Florida’s Long-Arm Statute
In Florida, drivers can also rely on the long-arm statute to protect them in accidents. This statute gives Florida courts the power to summon out-of-state drivers who might have caused an accident in Florida. Under this law, anyone who drives in Florida automatically falls under the jurisdiction of this statute and must appear in court if a judge demands it.
Accidents can involve multiple parties, which means that damages could be recovered from several people involved in the accident. Florida operates as a comparative fault state, meaning that damages are awarded according to each driver’s degree of fault for the accident. For example, if the court finds that the victim is responsible for at least 50 percent of their injuries, they can still receive compensation for the remaining 50 percent.
What Damages Can I Recover for a Car Accident in Florida?
It is crucial for all drivers to act responsibly and adhere to traffic laws, regardless of where they live or the reason for being in Florida. Failure to follow these regulations could result in legal liability for any injuries or damages incurred by other parties involved in a car accident. In Florida, car accident lawsuits provide access to a range of damages, including the following:
If you have been in a car accident, you might find that your medical bills are higher than you expected, even if you have only sustained common injuries. At this point, we can help you pursue the compensation you need to cover all your medical expenses. Not only that, but we can also seek compensation that can cover any future medical costs you might incur as a result of the accident.
It is also within your rights to seek compensation for the salary you were unable to earn because of your injuries. Additionally, you have the option to make a claim for any other losses that might have resulted from having to switch to a lower-paying job or taking time off work to attend medical appointments.
In the event that your car is damaged as a result of an accident, you are entitled to have it fixed or replaced. Ordinarily, the expenses of repairing your vehicle should be covered by the other driver’s insurance policy, but if the harm exceeds the policy limit, you might need to seek further compensation. We can assist you with this procedure to ensure that you receive the complete amount of compensation you are entitled to.
If you were hurt in an accident and experienced considerable physical and emotional pain, you might be eligible to receive compensation for your non-economic losses. These losses can include damages for depression, humiliation, and other conditions that have affected your daily routine. Seeking compensation for these losses can aid in your recovery process and help you move forward with your life.
Our Florida Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
For a free case assessment with our Ft. Lauderdale car accident lawyers, contact the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. at (954) 751-4258 today.