You live in Indiana and the winter weather starts to get old in January but you are looking forward to your time to thaw out and get some sun in Florida during spring break. You arrive, the weather is great. You spend a few days soaking up the sun, and then suddenly, you are injured in a car accident. You spend the rest of spring break in the hospital, seeing doctors and in your hotel room. Getting into an accident is bad enough, but when it happens out of town, the process can be pretty confusing.
You may have questions about your medical bills or how do you bring a claim for your injuries in Florida when you live in Indiana?
Florida's car accident law is different than Indiana's because Florida is a no-fault state. The person who hit you is going to get the major benefit of Florida's law, which is that you have to have a permanent injury in order to receive compensation for pain and suffering. However, you will not get the benefit of Florida's no-fault law, which is up to $10,000 of personal injury protection for medical bills and lost wages, which you don't have to pay back.
Just because you are an out of state resident, doesn't mean you cannot bring an injury claim in Florida. If the accident happened here, you can bring a claim here. You don't have to live in Florida while your case is pending, and you are free to see your doctors in Indiana.
If your case doesn't settle in the claims process, and you and your attorney decide to file a lawsuit for your injuries you will have to return to Florida for a number of events during the pendency of the suit. Some of these events will include:
You don't have to worry because these trips can be coordinated in advance, and if you plan on coming back to Florida we can make sure that a majority of the work on your case is done when you're in town. These things may seem overwhelming but you have to realize that because Florida is a tourist destination people from out of state are hurt all the time and there are ways to work around the inconvenience. Many of the above tasks, like your deposition, CME and mediation can be coordinated during the same trip.
The logistics and planning of your claim is what is important, which is why you should at least consult an attorney early on so you plan the claims process to work with your availability.
If you're an Indiana resident injured while on vacation in Florida, call our office at (219) 874-4878.