If you get injured by another driver, Florida law allows you to sue them for your injuries. In most cases, the at-fault driver and the injured person are citizens of the same state, so there are no problems with jurisdiction.
However, the Tampa area gets a lot of tourists, business people, and visitors from out of state. When this happens, people wonder how it will affect their claim for compensation.
Jurisdiction of the Court
In every state, before a court can hear a particular case, it must have the legal authority to pass judgment in the case. This is important so any verdict or judgment is binding on the defendant. Jurisdiction for courts in the Tampa area are determined by state law, and for each case, there must be jurisdiction over the subject matter (personal injury) and the parties to the case.
In Florida, the law gives the circuit courts the authority to hear personal injury cases and other civil suits. But the law also requires that the court have jurisdiction over the person. When someone lives in that state, the law has jurisdiction over them by way of their state residency. However, if someone doesn’t live in Florida, then the state only has jurisdiction based on the contacts the person has with the state.
Dealings with the State of Florida
If someone has never set foot in Florida, has never done business with anyone in Florida and has no other connection to Florida, then the law doesn’t give Florida’s courts jurisdiction over that person. However, it’s also unlikely that that particular person would be sued for a personal injury in Florida if they never set foot in the state.
If the person drove in the state and got into an accident, Florida law—like all other states—gives the state the jurisdiction over that person because they drove in the state and their driving caused an accident.
This is called sufficient minimum contact with the state and by law allows residents in Florida to sue someone from out of state for injuries allegedly caused in an accident.
Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
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Hancock Injury Attorneys has been representing clients in Tampa and surrounding communities since 1996.