Car Accident on Vacation in Florida
Every year, millions of tourists travel to Florida to visit its theme parks and beautiful beaches and perhaps catch a glimpse of an alligator in the wild. Unfortunately, a fun family vacation can easily turn into an expensive nightmare if a visitor is injured in a car accident.
By law, every Florida resident is entitled to $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage under their auto insurance policy. This means that if a Florida resident is injured by a motor vehicle, insurance will pay the first $10,000 in medical bills, regardless of who is at fault.
Unfortunately, unlike in many other states, this coverage is not extended to out-of-state visitors.
Generally, under Florida law, if a person injured in a car accident while riding as a passenger in someone else’s car, while walking or riding a bike, or after having fallen off their motorcycle or moped, that person is entitled to PIP coverage under the driver’s insurance. However, this is not true if the injured person is not a Florida resident. Instead, the injured person is responsible for his or her own medical costs, which can quickly skyrocket out of control.
Visitors Can Protect Themselves by Planning Ahead
It’s not always true that visitors will have the same insurance coverage on vacation as they do at home. Before leaving for vacation, tourists should contact their insurance companies to determine exactly what coverage their policy provides if they are injured out-of-state.
Vacationers who won’t be covered by their auto insurance policy and who don’t have health insurance that would cover them in the event of an accident have a number of options. Catastrophic coverage health insurance policies are relatively affordable and can often be purchased on a month-to-month basis. Experts also recommend that tourists contact their credit card companies before travelling – many provide affordable health care options for travelers.
Tourists injured in a car accident while vacationing in Florida may be wise to seek the advice of an attorney who can help them seek compensation for their injuries. However, because of the unique circumstances of their accident, it’s important that they choose a Florida law firm that is skilled in handling cases for out-of-state clients.
Posted in Car Accidents on Tuesday, October 11, 2011