Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to have a Florida attorney handle your claim for a car accident out of state. However, depending on how far away the accident is from Florida, the extent of damages and injuries, and the laws of that state, it may be better to consider an attorney local to where the accident occurred.
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Retaining an Attorney for an Out-of-State Accident
In some cases, attorneys may be permitted by the bar to operate in neighboring states or states where they associate with an attorney permitted in that state. For example, if the accident happened across the state line in Georgia, a Florida attorney may be permitted to practice there.
Traveling expenses is another detail to consider before hiring an attorney from your home state. The claims process can be extensive, depending on the circumstances of the accident. It could be necessary for an attorney to be present many times where the car accident occurred, and the expenses for travel could accrue quickly.
Car Insurance in an Out-of-State Accident
If you are a resident of Florida and get into a car accident in any other state, you will still file a claim with your insurance carrier because Florida follows no-fault insurance law like FL § 627.7407. Your insurance company will handle a percentage of your medical bills and lost wages up to your policy limits.
If you have damages that exceed your policy limits, you may be able to pursue a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurer to recover compensation above and beyond your own policy.
When you are involved in a car accident out of state, you have to keep that state’s laws in mind. If you meet that state’s threshold for serious injury, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit for an Out-of-State Car Accident
The laws of each state can be different, but the laws of that state will govern how the fault for an accident is handled. A few examples of state laws that can affect how you recover damages are:
- Statute of limitations: a time limit imposed by the state for filing a lawsuit against the person responsible for your damages.
- Tort thresholds: the verbal thresholds for what a state defines as a serious injury can depend on whether you may be able to file a lawsuit.
- Comparative fault: each state has a different way that it handles accidents where multiple drivers share fault for the accident.
- Fault states: Florida is a no-fault state, which means that it does not matter who is at-fault for the accident, you would always file a claim with your insurer first. However, in a fault state, like North Carolina, the driver who is found to be liable for the accident will be held responsible for the damages of the other drivers involved in the accident.
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A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we go the extra mile for you. Call a car accident attorney in Orlando today for a free, no-obligation consultation to review your claim by dialing 1-800-747-3733.