What to Do in the Event of a Car Accident in Florida

It’s true that tourists continue to throng to the Orlando, Florida, metro area. Out-of-staters hurt in Florida car accidents may be allowed to file a personal injury claim for financial damages. However, you should know that the state’s legal system will likely treat your case differently than if you were a resident and the accident occurred in your home state. 

Realising the Relevant Law

A Florida car accident victim who got Injured in a car accident and did not make their home in Florida may still have access to a vehicle registered in their home state. Hence, you may have uninsured motorist (“UM”) or underinsured motorist (“UIM”) insurance that can help pay for the costs associated with the collision. Remember that even if you are not driving your own vehicle at the time of the accident, you are still protected by your UM or UIM policy.

Unless you can prove that your injuries were severe enough to qualify as a tort under Florida law, your UM policy will not pay for your pain and suffering. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience, are recoverable in Florida car accident cases, but only if the injured party meets this level. Usually, this is the “no fault” limit in Florida. 

Florida is a “no-fault” state, meaning that if you are involved in an automobile accident, your insurance company will pay 80% of your medical expenditures up to $10,000 no matter who was at fault. After that, the Bodily Injury (BI) coverage of the negligent driver can be pursued for reimbursement. 

Compensation can be sought from your UM or UIM policy if the at-fault motorist does not have BI coverage or if the BI coverage is insufficient to meet the injury damages. Once again, the following elements must be met for the victim to be able to sue for pain and suffering or other non-economic damages as a result of the accident:

  • Experiencing a severe and irreversible loss of an essential physical function
  • A medical diagnosis of assured permanent damage
  • Significant and long-lasting scarring
  • Death

Nevertheless, there is no such need if you are a resident of a state that does not apply the “no fault” rule and the irresponsible uninsured driver was the cause of your injuries. You can file a claim for damages for your physical and emotional distress with your UM insurance provider.

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