Florida is a popular tourist destination throughout the year, and summer in particular brings an influx of travelers and families on vacation. Between our beaches, resorts, amusement parks, and other attractions, our road, highways, and thoroughfare are brimming with out-of-state license plates around the clock from early spring clear through to late fall and winter. Unfortunately, this surge of drivers, many of whom are unfamiliar with our area, often results in an increase in car accidents and injuries. If you are involved in a crash or collision with an out-of-state driver, here are the steps you need to take to ensure your damages are covered.
What To Do If You Are Hit By An Out-of-State Driver
According to a report in the Sun Sentinel, Florida has been achieving record breaking numbers of tourists over the last several years, with as many as 100 million people traveling both to and within the Sunshine State each year. This increase in visitors means an increase in cars on the road, and a corresponding increase in your likelihood of being involved in one of these accidents. If you are involved in an accident with someone from out of state, both you and the other driver are still obligated to abide by Florida motor vehicle laws in terms of what to do after an accident. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles advises all drivers, whether local or from another area, to do the following:
- Stop and remain on the scene until help arrives.
- If there are injuries, report the accident to local police or Highway Patrol.
- Provide personal information, such as name, address, and driver’s license and insurance information, to law enforcement as well as to the other driver.
- If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid blocking traffic.
- Call an ambulance and provide assistance to injured victims.
While getting information from other drivers is required in all accidents, it is particularly important involving accidents with out-of-state drivers.
Getting Compensation For Injuries and Damages From Out-Of-State Drivers
According to the insurance provider Esurance, an out-of-state driver’s insurance policy should cover injuries and damages caused by their insurer even if the insurance company itself is not in business in the state, provided the driver is only visiting the area and has not permanently moved without notifying the insurance company. In addition to an insurance company claim for damages, another available option for seeking compensation is through a personal injury lawsuit. Under Section 48.193 of the Florida State Statutes, out-of-state drivers can be held accountable for acts committed within the state and can be summoned to appear locally in court. Referred to as ‘long arm statutes’, these laws ensure that those who cause injuries and damages cannot flee to their home states to avoid legal liability or prosecution for acts committed in our state.
Reach Out to Us for Help
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident with an out-of-state driver, contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, we can advise you on how to hold these drivers accountable for the damages and injuries you suffer, while assist you in getting the compensation through their insurance company or through a personal injury lawsuit. We have offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland; call or contact us online today for a free review of your case.