Any serious car accident is a major concern and inconvenience, but the issue is compounded when the accident happens in another state away from home.
Given Florida’s warm weather and numerous tourist destinations, it’s no wonder that thousands of people flock to the Sunshine State every winter to get away from colder climates. It’s inevitable that some of these visitors, often referred to by native Floridians as “snowbirds,” end up in car accidents after they arrive.
An out-of-state car accident in Florida can be challenging to deal with, but it’s a challenge you don’t have to face alone. The qualified, caring car accident lawyers at Rosen & Ohr, P.A. have decades of experience handling these kinds of cases. Both Ronald Rosen and Jerrad Ohr are lifetime members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive organization for lawyers that have recovered multimillion-dollar judgments for their clients.
We’re ready to put our experience and knowledge to work on your behalf. Get your free initial consultation today by calling us or visiting our contact page.
What Snowbirds Should Know About Insurance Laws in Florida
Snowbirds often stay for weeks or months at a time in Florida, so it’s important to be aware of the relevant insurance laws if you’re going to be here awhile. Here are some key facts to know about Florida’s insurance laws:
- If you’re going to be staying in Florida for more than 90 consecutive days while using your car, you need to register your car with the state of Florida. This also means you will have to purchase Florida auto insurance for your vehicle.
- Make sure your insurance meets Florida’s minimum liability requirements. You must have at least $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage.
- Florida is a no-fault state for car accidents. This means that if you’re involved in a crash, you’ll have to file a claim with your own PIP coverage first. If you’ve suffered a serious injury and your PIP benefits do not cover the full extent of your medical bills and other losses, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Does My Insurance Cover Out-of-State Car Accidents?
While an out-of-state car accident will hopefully be a once-in-a-lifetime event for you, these accidents happen all the time across the country. Because of that, most insurance policies work across state lines. Provided you are not staying in Florida for more than 90 consecutive days, your out-of-state insurance policy should cover the costs of any accident during your stay.
The only issue that may arise is that some states have higher minimum coverage requirements than others. If you only purchased the minimum amount of coverage in your home state and that coverage amount does not line up with the minimums in Florida, you could face complications if the costs of the accident exceed your policy limit.
If you have any questions about your coverage in an out-of-state car accident, consult with your insurance company or a car accident attorney.
Do Car Accidents Increase During the Winter in Florida?
While official data on seasonal accident rates in Florida is hard to come by, one study found that nearly 800,000 elderly adults visit Florida in the winter months. An additional 800,000 people on the roads in the winter is undoubtedly going to lead to an increase in car accidents, especially as older drivers are more prone to accidents generally.
These figures also do not account for younger people who visit Florida in the winter months, further adding to the number of drivers on the road and likely leading to an increase in car accidents. Younger visitors may also be more likely to engage in drunk driving and distracted driving, which means they could pose a greater car accident risk.
Why You Should Choose a Local Florida Car Accident Lawyer
Finding the right attorney to represent you after a car accident can be a challenge. It’s especially important in out-of-state accidents. Here are a few reasons to choose a local Florida lawyer:
- An attorney from your home state may not be able to represent you here. Generally speaking, you will need a lawyer who is licensed to practice in Florida by the Florida Bar. A lawyer may be permitted to handle the case in Florida if they associate with a lawyer who is admitted by the Florida Bar, and they get special permission. The rules are complicated, however, and there’s no guarantee that your home-state attorney can take part in Florida court proceedings.
- Car accident and personal injury laws vary from state to state. There are a number of car accident laws that are specific to Florida, and there are also state-specific laws regarding personal injury claims more broadly. You need an attorney who knows the relevant laws without having to spend days or weeks catching up.
Car accident claims require a lot of time and resources. If your lawyer is working remotely and flying or driving back and forth from your home state to Florida to attend hearings, they won’t have as much time to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, handle negotiations with the insurance company, prepare your case for trial, and do all the other things a car accident attorney needs to do. A local Florida lawyer will be able to handle your case much more efficiently, and they’ll have access to local resources that an out-of-state attorney may not have.
Contact a Trusted Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
Are you an out-of-state resident who’s been injured in a Florida car accident? If so, now’s the time to call the Florida car accident lawyers at Rosen & Ohr, P.A. Florida’s statute of limitations on car accident lawsuits is four years, which sounds like a long time, but it can pass in a hurry. It’s important to act quickly after an accident so your lawyer can help you get all the evidence you need.
Our attorneys are standing by to assist you however they can. To get started with your claim, call us or visit our contact page to get your free case review.