I Got Hit by an Out-of-State Driver Visiting Florida for Thanksgiving

I Got Hit by an Out-of-State Driver Visiting Florida for Thanksgiving
state, florida, legal, defendants, accident, lawsuit, plaintiff, busine, munns, individual

The holiday season is upon us, and for those who live in Florida this means Snowbirds from cold weather regions will flock to the Sunshine State to visit loved ones or simply to escape the winter storms. As a result, the roadways across Florida will be more congested than usual, causing an increased risk of car accidents.

Most drivers, however, are not aware of the complexities that come with getting into an automobile accident with an out-of-state driver, particularly when it comes to filing a lawsuit in court. In order to be able to navigate this situation, it is important to understand how the law is applied and what steps an injured party can take to pursue monetary compensation for damages suffered.

Can I Sue if I am Hurt?

There is almost always a way to seek justice on behalf of a Florida victim who is injured, the question becomes how this can be done within the confines of the law. This is especially true if you are injured as a result of another’s negligence. An injured party, known as the plaintiff, must allege certain facts in order to proceed with a lawsuit against an individual or an insurance company in court. These include –

  • Identifying the parties: A plaintiff must know who the defendants are, or who potential defendants may be, in order to file a suit against them. A defendant is an individual or entity that is sued in a Florida personal injury case for alleged negligence.
  • Legal duty: The defendant(s) must have had a legal duty, whether implied or expressly stated by law, to the victim which was breached. In the case of a car accident, we all have a legal duty to one another to drive with reasonable care.
  • Breach: The plaintiff must allege the defendant(s) breached the legal duty in some manner.
  • Proximate cause: The plaintiff must allege that the defendant’s breach was the actual and legal cause of the injuries suffered.
  • Damages: The plaintiff must establish that he or she was hurt in some way. This harm can be physical, emotional, financial, or someone other legally recognized harm. When a plaintiff can make these allegations in good faith – in other words, the lawsuit is not frivolous – then he or she may proceed with a lawsuit in court.

To consult with an experienced car accidents lawyer today, call 855-780-9986

Out-of-State (Foreign) Defendants

Before you can file a lawsuit, you must make sure the court has power over the individual or business that you intend to sue, or the case will be thrown out of court. When one or more defendants to your Florida personal injury lawsuit are from out-of-state, they are referred to as foreign.

Under the law, there is a doctrine used by the courts in this scenario known as minimum contacts. Courts use this to determine whether a defendant has voluntarily allowed a state to have legal authority to decide matters concerning him or her. There are several ways to show a foreign defendant has minimum contacts with the state of Florida including –

  • State of residence: There is a presumption that the home state an individual chooses makes the individual automatically subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in that state.
  • Voluntary presence: When someone travels to another state, no matter if it is for business or pleasure, he or she is subject to the laws of that state. Accordingly, an out-of-state driver who gets involved in a Florida car accident is subject to the state’s jurisdiction.
  • Doing business: A company must be licensed to do business in every state where it conducts business, even if it was incorporated elsewhere. Generally speaking, by conducting business in the state, the company makes itself subject to the laws of that state.

The actual laws surrounding this area are a bit much to get into here, so you should consult a Florida attorney for more on this issue.

The actual laws surrounding this area are a bit much to get into here, so you should consult a Florida attorney for more on this issue.

Car Accident Attorneys in Florida

The rules of jurisdiction when suing multiple defendants or foreign defendants are complicated, and every set of facts is as unique as the parties involved. For this reason, it is essential to hire a skilled Florida car accident attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns can handle your matter, and know that the slightest difference in facts can change where and how a case may proceed. Schedule your free consultation today!

NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.

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