Florida is not only a beautiful state in and of itself; it is also surrounded by destination locations perfectly suited for a weekend getaway. Unfortunately, out-of-state car accidents can and do happen. When they do, those involved may feel like fish out of water. To help you prepare for the worst, Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. is here to walk you through your legal rights as an out-of-state accident victim.
Paying for Medical Treatment
The good news is that if you were driving, your insurance will likely cover accidents that occur out of state. You should also be able to seek out-of-state medical treatment without having to forgo your coverage. Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provides this peace of mind. Make sure to notify your insurance provider of the accident as soon as possible.
On the other hand, your PIP insurance will likely not cover injuries sustained as a passenger in another person’s car. For those, you will need to use your private health insurance. If you do not have private health insurance or cannot find a medical center that takes yours, you will need to pay for your medical treatment out of pocket. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may reimburse you later, so take care to keep any bills. Don’t wait to notify your insurance provider of your involvement in an accident out of state.
Taking Legal Action
If an insurance company refuses to compensate you for your injuries, you may have the right to file a lawsuit. This is somewhat complicated by the involvement of a different state, as you will need to comply with that state’s liability laws and legal deadlines.
The state of Florida follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule, a liability law that allows partially at-fault drivers to recover compensation. Some states have the same rule, while others have slight variations of it. States that follow “modified comparative negligence” rules either have a 50% or 51% rule, according to which a partially at-fault driver can only seek compensation if they share less than 50% or 51% of the blame.
There are also states that have a completely different liability law, namely a “contributory negligence” rule. Per this rule, a plaintiff even 1% at fault cannot recover compensation. Alabama is among the few states left that still have a contributory negligence rule.
Statutes of Limitations
Each state also has its own legal deadline, or “statute of limitations,” for filing a car accident lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident; in others, it can be as little as one or two years. For instance, Alabama has only a two-year statute of limitations. All states have one thing in common, however: Once this statute runs out, you will no longer have the right to compensation.
For Comprehensive Legal Help, Call (954) 467-8800
At Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale trial attorneys are building on a tradition of success in personal injury litigation. We have a wealth of experience when it comes to handling out-of-state car accident claims, as well. You do not have to go through the legal process alone—let our attorney team guide you. In our over 60 years of combined experience, we have recovered millions in compensation for our injured clients.
Contact Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. online for a free consultation with a skilled Fort Lauderdale lawyer.