Car Accident While Traveling in Florida? Here’s What to Do
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident is never easy, but it’s especially challenging when the wreck occurs somewhere other than your home state. If you were hurt in a collision while on vacation in Florida, you’re probably wondering how to proceed.
While every crash is unique—and so is every associated claim—you’ll generally be in a good position if you take the following steps:
1. Preserve Evidence from the Scene
If you gathered any evidence before leaving the scene, make copies to ensure redundancy, and then store all the digital files and paper documents in a safe place. Evidence worth preserving might include:
- Photographs of the wreckage;
- Statements from eyewitnesses;
- The official police report; and
- Dash camera footage.
2. Review Available Coverage Options
When it comes to car insurance claims, Florida is a no-fault state. That means injured parties must generally turn to their own carriers for compensation, even if they didn’t play a role in the wreck.
If you happen to live in a “fault” state and don’t have any personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, don’t worry; there may be other avenues of compensation. Should you meet Florida’s serious injury threshold, for example, you may be able to bypass the no-fault law and file a third-party claim with the liable party’s carrier. Car accident injuries are considered serious if they result in:
- Bone fractures;
- Significant disfigurement;
- Permanent limitation of a bodily organ, system, or function; or
- Full disability for at least 90 days.
If you were driving a rental car at the time of the crash, you may have coverage through the rental car company. The credit card you used to cover the vehicle may also provide insurance.
Regardless of which route you end up taking, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can advocate for you at every stage of the claims process, which brings us to the third step.
3. Seek Representation from a Local
Even if there’s a skilled litigator in your home state whom you often turn to for legal help, you’re going to need someone who’s licensed to practice in Florida to handle your car accident claim. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy for attorneys to counsel clients from afar, so you don’t necessarily have to stay in Florida until your case is resolved.
It is wise, however, to meet with your lawyer once in person before heading home. If you can fit in the initial case review before leaving the state, take advantage.
During this meeting, your attorney will get the chance to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the accident and determine how best to proceed. Likewise, you’ll get the opportunity to evaluate them, so you can make sure they’re equipped to take your case.
Speak with a Stuart Car Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a wreck while on vacation in Florida, give Donaldson & Weston a call. Our firm will be happy to handle every aspect of your claim remotely, so you can recover in your home state. To schedule a free case review with a car accident lawyer in Stuart, fill out our Online Contact Form or call 772-266-5555.