What happens if an out-of-state tourist causes your accident?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2023 | Blog, Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Following a motor vehicle accident, the legal process to obtain compensation may feel overwhelming. This feeling may become exacerbated if you discover that the person who caused the accident lives in a different state.

While different states may have different laws and jurisdictions, it may surprise you to find out that the person’s state of origin has less of an impact on the legal ramifications of the accident.

Can tourists flee Florida jurisdiction?

In 2021, 137 million people visited Florida. This is almost seven times as many people as residents in the state. With so many visitors on the road, it is no surprise that you may encounter them while driving. However, if they cause an accident, they still have to follow Florida’s laws.

The law determines jurisdiction based on where the accident took place. Out-of-state tourists cannot flee the state to evade their legal responsibility.

How can the state compel them to appear in court?

Filing a car accident claim can take time. Tourists often return home, but this does not make them out of Florida’s reach. If you choose to go to court, the plaintiff must also show up. The plaintiff receives a summons from the courts in Florida, asking them to appear before a judge. Tourists may receive summons to determine legal responsibility, to handle insurance and to resolve any legal matters.

If the plaintiff refuses to show up, the judge may issue a default judgment in your favor. Additionally, avoiding court after a traffic accident can result in fines, penalties and license suspension.


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