Liability for Out of State Car Accidents
Dealing with the consequences of a car accident tends to be a complicated process, as it often requires the parties to grapple with insurance claims, pay off medical bills, repair their vehicles, and undergo treatment for injuries. These issues can become even more difficult to navigate when drivers are injured in collisions in other states. Fortunately, the auto insurance policies of Florida drivers almost always provide coverage for car accidents that occur out of state. However, this does not mean that dealing with the repercussions of an out of state car accident is by any means a simple process, especially in cases of severe injury, so if you or a loved one were injured in an accident outside of Florida, it is important to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorney who can help protect your interests.
Although it may seem unlikely that you will be involved in a car crash in another state, the reality is that these types of collisions occur much more often than people realize. Fortunately, car insurance companies account for this possibility, and in most cases, a person’s coverage limits will merely adjust to meet whatever standard is required in the state where the accident occurred.
For instance, Florida drivers are required to carry minimum coverage of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage. If, however, a Florida resident is injured in a collision in Georgia, his or her policy will adjust to meet that state’s standard, which requires $25,000 for the injury of one person, $50,000 for total injuries, and $25,000 in coverage for property damage.
Florida is one of only a few states that continues to adhere to a policy of no-fault auto liability, with the majority of states instead adopting a fault-based policy. As a result, how a car accident claim is handled will depend largely on where it took place. If, for instance, a Florida driver is injured in another no-fault state, then his or her claim would be handled the same as if it had occurred in Florida, meaning that both drivers would first have to seek compensation from their own insurers regardless of who was actually at fault for the crash.
Drivers who are involved in accidents that use a fault system, on the other hand, will have their claims handled based on that state’s law. In this example, the at-fault driver and his or her insurer, and not the policyholder, would be held liable for the accident. However, it’s still important for Florida motorists to contact their insurer after being involved in a collision in another state, as the insurer may offer additional coverage in those instances, including towing or vehicle rental.
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The general rule of thumb regarding out of state car accidents, is that the claim will be governed by the law of the state in which the accident occurred. There are exceptions to this rule, however, so if you reside in Florida, but were injured in a collision in another state, please call 954-566-9919 to schedule a meeting with the experienced auto accident legal team at Boone & Davis today.