A car accident injury (or worse, a fatal car accident) can be a life-changing experience. It’s not just the victim who is affected, but their dependents and loved ones. Suppose you have an accident in Vero Beach involving an out-of-state driver. In that case, you’ll need expert help and support from an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with the complexities of Florida’s laws.
Accidents with Out-of-State Drivers
Sometimes a Vero Beach car accident involves a driver from another state, such as a tourist or business traveler. Some victims fear that if the other driver has an out of state driver’s license, they may struggle to obtain compensation. Florida state laws mean that accidents occurring on the Sunshine State’s roads fall under Florida’s jurisdiction. It doesn’t matter whether the driver is from another state.
There’s also a “Long Arm” statute, meaning that out-of-state drivers involved in Florida road traffic accidents can be recalled to Florida for court appearances. By choosing to drive on roads in the state of Florida, the driver consents to abide by the state’s laws and is subject to the “Long Arm” statute. This means that someone who gets into a traffic accident in Florida is obliged to appear in court if they are sued over their involvement in a road traffic accident.
Different states have different approaches when it comes to determining fault and deicing on compensation. Florida is what is termed a “pure comparative fault” state. In a pure comparative fault state, compensation is determined based on each party’s degree of fault. This means that if more than one person is found to have contributed to causing the accident, all those responsible may be held liable. For example: if Driver A is distracted by their phone and is struck by Driver B, who has ignored a traffic signal, both drivers may be held liable for the resulting accident.
Accidents Occurring Outside of Florida
If you’re a Florida resident who has been injured in a car accident while driving out of state, you will not fall under Florida’s jurisdiction. You will need to file any lawsuit you bring in the place that has jurisdiction in that instance. This might be the state, the county, or the city, depending on the circumstances. If you have an accident out of state, you’ll be bound by the state’s laws where the accident happened. You’ll need to find a lawyer with experience and knowledge of the laws relating to car accident injury in that state.
What to Do After a Road Traffic Accident
Regardless of where the accident took place, there are some steps you should always take following a car accident.
- Don’t leave the scene. If it is safe to do so, remain with your vehicle until law enforcement arrives.
- Notify law enforcement. This can be the highway trooper or local law enforcement.
- Offer any assistance that you reasonably can to those involved.
- Exchange information with the other party or parties involved. This includes insurance details, driver’s license information, etc.
- Gather evidence. Take photographs, collect the names of any witnesses, etc.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may feel all right after the accident, but some injuries don’t always manifest right away.
- Do not admit fault. Even if you feel that you’re responsible for the accident, this is for the courts to determine. Admitting fault can prejudice a future court case and might mean that you don’t get the compensation you deserve.
If you do decide to move forward with a lawsuit, or if another driver sues you, you will need a skilled and experienced car accident attorney. Contact the Graves Thomas Injury Law Group today.