If you are involved in a car accident out of state, you can seek compensation from the at-fault driver. However, your case will fall under the state’s legal jurisdiction where your accident occurred and is subject to that state’s insurance regulations.
How Will Out of State Laws Affect My Car Accident Claim?
An out-of-state car accident is any vehicle accident that occurs in a state other than where you reside. Usually, when an accident happens out-of-state, the state’s laws where the accident occurred govern how to resolve the case. However, if both drivers reside in another state, jurisdiction may fall under the state where the at-fault driver lives.
Tort vs. No-Fault Insurance
According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida is one of twelve states that follow a no-fault insurance model. No-fault states require drivers to carry personal injury protection insurance (PIP). PIP pays for your medical care following an accident, regardless of who is at fault. In general, under the no-fault system, you cannot sue for additional damages unless you have severe injuries and extensive pain suffering.
If you live in a no-fault state and your car accident occurred in another no-fault state, the claims process is similar to an accident at home. However, suppose you live in a no-fault state, and your accident happens in a tort state. In that case, your PIP may not apply, and you will need to seek compensation from the at-fault driver via a liability insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
If you live in a tort state and your accident happens in a no-fault state, your insurance may provide you with PIP coverage for your injuries, and you can seek additional damages if your injuries meet the state’s severe injury threshold. Our car accident attorneys can tell you more about Florida’s insurance laws and how they can affect your case.
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What Damages Can I Pursue for an Out of State Wreck?
Personal injury damages are generally the same in every state. If you have grounds for a claim or lawsuit, you could win a settlement or verdict that includes awards for:
- Medical treatment – This includes all your past and future accident-related health care needs, such as doctor and hospital bills, physical therapy, long-term nursing services, and medical equipment.
- Pain and suffering – These damages award victims for the negative impact of their accident on their quality of life. Compensation may include awards for physical pain, emotional suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Lost wages – You can recover your lost wages, as well as compensation for the loss of your earning capabilities if your injuries prevent you from returning to work.
- Vehicle and personal property damages – This includes reimbursement for vehicle repairs or the fair market value of your car if the damage is not fixable. You may also recover the cost of other damaged personal property.
Wrongful Death Damages
If your loved one suffered fatal injuries during an out-of-state car accident, you could seek awards on their behalf. What damages you can receive and who can bring a claim or lawsuit varies from state to state. In Florida, Florida Statutes § 768.21 allows the deceased’s estate and surviving family members to pursue compensation for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills
- The deceased’s lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering awards on behalf of the deceased and surviving family members
- The loss of the deceased’s love, guidance, and support
How Long do I Have to Take Legal Action?
If you are involved in a car accident in another state, that state’s statute of limitations will determine how long you have to take action. Depending on where your accident occurred, you could have anywhere from one to six years to file a personal injury case.
In Florida, Florida Statutes § 95.11 allows four years to take action for personal injury and two years for wrongful death.
While the statute of limitations does not strictly apply to insurance claims, an expired statute could harm your chances of achieving a fair settlement. Therefore, it is a good idea to get started on your claim as soon as possible.
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Should I Hire a Car Accident Attorney to Help Me?
If your accident happened in Florida, Florida Statutes § 48.193 grants jurisdiction over any tortious actions arising from the incident. Our car accident lawyers can help you navigate the insurance claims process and work to help you secure a settlement or verdict in your favor. We can:
- File your claim or lawsuit according to local laws
- Communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf
- Gather evidence and build your case
- Work to negotiate a fair settlement for your injuries and losses
- Represent you in civil court if needed
Get Help with Your Out of State Car Accident Case By Contacting Our Office Today
If you or a loved one were in an accident, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine could assist you. Call our office today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free case evaluation.
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