Out-of-State Visitors Entitled to Same Treatment as ResidentsMarch 1, 2017 | Category: Automobile Accidents, Personal Injury | Share
Florida is a major tourist destination for U.S. and international visitors. According to Florida's official tourism website, Florida is one of the most-visited states in the country, drawing over 100 million visitors annually. Some of the most popular attractions are beaches, golf resorts and shopping, along with some of the world's best known theme parks, including Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and Sea World. Domestic, out-of-state visitors account for 85.5 percent and international visitors 14.5 percent.
Florida Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. says, “Accidents involving injuries happen all the time. They can be at theme parks, while bike riding or in vehicles. With the large number of visitors added to Florida’s year-round population, the chances of accidents increase.”
When vehicle accidents occur, experts say that some of the common causes of accidents involving visitors are:
- Unfamiliarity with Florida’s traffic laws, especially by people coming from foreign countries who rent cars in Florida.
- Distraction when tourists are reading maps and directions to tourist attractions instead of paying attention to the road.
- Photo taking causing visiting drivers to slow down to take pictures of sights causing traffic to stop suddenly behind them.
What state laws are in effect?
If a collision takes place in Florida, then the state laws of Florida determine who is held liable for the injuries and damages. It does not make any difference if the driver is, or is not, a resident. All 50 states have statutes which give their courts the power to decide cases regarding accidents on their roads regardless of where the driver’s principle residence is located.
Florida is a no-fault state for insurance purposes. However, it is possible to hold another driver accountable if there are serious injuries from an accident as long as all liability claims are filed within the statute of limitations, which in Florida is four years.
International drivers are treated no differently than U.S. citizens.
Inter Exchange, a nonprofit organization which promotes cross-cultural awareness through work and volunteer exchange programs, recommends international drivers visiting the United States become familiar with the local, state and federal driving laws. All states recognize foreign driver’s licenses, and if these licenses are up-to-date, they will be valid for up to one year after the date of entering the U.S. International drivers should consult the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state(s) in which they wish to drive to confirm the length of validity. Foreign visitors can use the U.S. civil justice system just as citizens can. When a person is injured due the negligence of another, they can seek compensation for their injuries through the U.S. legal system and hire a Florida personal injury attorney.
How should drivers handle accidents if they are from out-of-state or another country?
When involved in an accident, with or without injuries, there are specific things the drivers must do which include:
- Remaining at the scene
- Checking other drivers and passengers for injuries
- Contacting emergency services and authorities
- Exchanging information
- Name, phone number, and license and insurance information
- License plate number, model and year of the vehicle
- Registration number and expiration date
- Name of the insurance company and policy number
- Getting the names, phone numbers and addresses of any witnesses
“We would like to remind visitors that if they are injured in an accident anywhere in Florida, they need to contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. for assistance. We have the experience to handle your case anywhere in the state,” said Attorney Spivey.
Fort Myers Vehicle Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.