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Mark J. Leeds P.A.
Main Office Ft. Lauderdale
633 S. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Cell: 954 683 0355
Fax: 954 337 2435
5621 Strand Boulevard
TelePhone: 954 683 0355
Email: [email protected]
Fast Facts: Tourist and Vacation Accidents
Here are Fast Facts about Tourist and vacation Accidents and Injuries that vacationers and Florida Tourists would do well to know about.
Unless it was a government owned or operated vehicle, the Florida time limit to sue the other driver (if the driver is a Florida resident or driving a Florida-owned car) is 4 years.
There are rare exceptions where the time limit may be even shorter, or certain types of claims may require notice by certified mail even earlier than this time limit. Tourist injury attorney discussion is strongly suggested.
There are sometimes very short time limits to file a lawsuit. A claim for wrongful death has a shorter time limit, and a claim against a cruise ship has an even shorter one.
It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer early, because many lawyers do not want to accept cases that are very close to the time limit for filing a lawsuit, and you do not want to lose any legal rights to sue because you did not know how much time was remaining on the time limit, or, how close to the expiration or loss of your right to sue you are.
There are special types of insurance coverage; one of them is called “uninsured or underinsured motorist” coverage.
It is also called UM coverage. This coverage is something your Florida Injury Attorney needs to look into.
If you are the passenger in someone else’s car, and the driver of that car is the person who is totally at-fault, can you use that driver’s UM coverage against him?
No, but you can probably go against his/her liability insurance.
In Florida, the owner of the car and the driver of the car are both responsible for payment of qualified injury compensation, up to the extent that there is fault on the part of the driver.
There are different laws for long term leased cars, and rental cars, as well as government cars and government drivers… There may be other companies and people that are also responsible.
Your own car insurance policy, the entire policy, should be obtained by you so that your Florida tourist injury attorney can look it over.
The Florida tourist injury attorney will look at your Florida tourist accident case for purposes of deadlines and coverage.
Let’s say for example that you are from Chicago and you were involved in an auto accident in Tampa… It may be the circumstance that your Chicago lawyer will advise and coordinate the insurance coverage with you about Chicago, and a Florida tourist injury lawyer will conference with the Chicago personal injury lawyer; or vice-versa.
An important consideration in these tourist and vacation accidents and injuries cases is the choice of laws and where to sue.
What if, for example, you are a passenger in a car driven by a driver; who is not your friend, and who you did not recognize right away as being drunk, hits a palm tree because he or she fell asleep at the wheel; there are various special issues involved of cases of that specific nature.
Is your friend a resident of the same state as you, or did he/she fly in, or drive from another state to meet up with you in Florida?
Can you, or should you, sue the driver in their home state? What law will apply?
Typically, there is a free first consultation. Accidents to Florida tourists usually get represented by Florida Tourist Accident Attorneys under a fee agreement called a “contingency” agreement.
There would be no legal fees that you would owe the Florida personal injury lawyer unless there was money recovered. If there is money recovered, then in Florida, the tourist lawyer will usually take a percentage of the total recovery, off the top.
The typical percentage is one third of the recovery, but if a lawsuit is filed and the lawsuit goes a certain distance in the process, the fee may increase some percentage.
There are many other ways that tourists can get injured in Florida, and I have probably represented almost all of the different fact patterns over the last 30 years.
Will I be able to make my tourist injury claim, now that I am back in my home country or state, or do I have to return to Florida?
A common question I often get is: Will I be able to make my tourist injury claim, now that I am back in my home country or state, or do I have to return to Florida?
The answer is that most cases settle without a lawsuit, and your claim can be presented on paper without your coming to Florida again. If needed, your statement can be taken over the phone. But, if your case cannot be settled, and a lawsuit has to be filed, you probably will be required to return to Florida more than once.
If you are too sick to travel, there are exceptions, and many Judges will consider a detailed doctor’s report restricting your travel.
Typically, after a lawsuit is filed, a tourist involved in an accident in the State of Florida will have to come to Florida for things such as: giving a sworn statement (called a deposition); attending a medical examination (called a IME, short for Independent Medical Exam); and attending to a Settlement Conference (called a Mediation – where many lawsuits will settle).
If your case does not settle, then of course you should expect to be present in person for your own personal injury trial to a jury of the State of Florida.