Winter is a time when residents of many northern states migrate to Florida to escape the harsh frigid weather. With The Villages just around the corner, Marion County and Ocala see an increase in out-of-state drivers in winter. This also leads to a rise in visitors unfamiliar with Florida roadways and applicable laws, which could lead to more accidents. Here’s what you should know if you get into an accident with an out-of-state driver.
What to do After an Accident with an Out-of-State Driver
Here are the general steps you should take immediately after getting into an accident in Florida:
Move Vehicles Out of the Roadway & Assess the Damage
In Florida, it is illegal to block roads with accident vehicles if you can move them. If you get into an accident with a driver with an out-of-state license plate, you may need to inform him or her of this, as every state has different policies regarding moving accident vehicles. If you cannot drive or move the car, call a tow truck to clear the accident as quickly as possible. Once you are in a safe place, assess the damage to both vehicles. Take pictures of the damage for your records.
Seek Medical Attention
If injuries are serious, call 911 right away and get medical personnel to the accident scene as quickly as possible. Having on-site medical staff perform a health check may be beneficial, even if you don’t “feel” hurt. Some people do not feel their injuries immediately and may experience symptoms several days after the accident. Florida law requires you to seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident to be eligible for your full personal injury protection.
Florida law requires police reports to be filed for accidents where damage exceeds $500. If law enforcement is called to the scene, information such as driver names, addresses, and insurance information will be provided on a driver’s exchange sheet along with the police report. However, it is best to seek that information from the other involved driver directly to ensure its accuracy. You will want to note the other driver’s home state, the license plate state, and whether the car was a rental.
Make a Claim with Your Insurance Company
Florida residents can make claims with their insurance companies for repairs but must first make their medical claims with their own insurance company as a no-fault insurance state. Your auto insurance provider will pay for damages outlined in your policy limits and 80% of your medical bills through Florida’s required Personal Injury Protection coverage. However, since Florida’s minimum insurance coverage is only $10,000, medical expenses for serious injuries can quickly exceed your insurance policy limits.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you’ve reached your auto insurance coverage limits, you’ll need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance using an Ocala personal injury attorney for any additional medical expenses. Contact our office for a free case consultation.
How Out-of-State Accident Claims Work
If you get into an accident in Florida, Florida laws apply to accidents that occur in Florida, regardless of where both drivers live. Auto insurance policies generally adjust the policy amounts to match the minimum coverage required in the state where the accident occurred. If you rent a car while in Florida, you may be able to add PIP coverage through your rental company.
If the state requires less minimum coverage than the driver’s home state, the driver will get the same coverage they would get in their home state. This means there may be additional coverage for medical expenses if you get into an accident with an out-of-state driver in some cases.
Considerations for Snowbirds
Special insurance considerations should be taken for drivers who live in Florida part-time. Although your home state’s insurance may cover you while you stay in Florida, you must register your car and purchase Florida car insurance if you remain in the state for more than 90 consecutive days.
King Law Firm: Ocala & Marion County Accident Attorneys
Were you injured in a car accident involving an out-of-state driver? Contact the King Law Firm at 352-269-1814 for a free consultation to discuss your case. We will advocate for compensation for your injuries.