If you’re a California resident who is hurt in a Florida auto accident, different laws may apply to your case than if you’re a Florida resident.
Different laws may also apply if you’re making a claim under a California auto insurance policy (even if you live in Florida) and you’re hurt in a Florida auto accident.
This article applies if:
- you live in California and were hurt in Florida auto accident; and/or
- you’re an “insured” under a California auto policy, who is hurt in a Florida crash
If you fall into one of these 2 scenarios, your case is even different from a visitor from a state other than California who is hurt in Florida auto accident.
Here, I’ll focus on some major differences that may exist when dealing with California auto insurance in a Florida accident.
California Medical Payments Coverage May Cover You in a Florida Accident
California car owners can purchase medical payments (“Medpay”) insurance, but it isn’t required. California Medpay pays 100% of your reasonable medical expenses up to your Medpay coverage limit.
I settled 4 Florida car accident cases with Nationwide Insurance for a family from California who were in a rental car that was hit by another car in Florida.
My clients’ had Medpay coverage with State Farm on their personal California car insurance policy.
The Medpay coverage limit was over $10,000. The Medpay coverage paid 100% of their medical bills, even though one of the them was driving the rental car at the time of the crash.
California Medpay coverage is similar to Florida Medpay coverage. There are 2 scenarios where California Medpay will cover you in a Florida car accident. They are if you’re:
- In a California car (with Medpay coverage) that is in a Florida crash;
- A California resident has Medpay on his/her California car insurance policy and he/she is hurt in a Florida car accident
You May Be Required to Pay the California Medpay Insurer from Your Florida Injury Settlement
If your bills are paid under Medpay coverage in a California auto policy, the Medpay insurer may have a right of to get paid back from your personal injury settlement.
In the $29,700 settlement that I talked about above, the Medpay insurer paid about $15,000 or so for my client’s medical bills. I got them to accept $5,000 to settle their Medpay lien.
Warning! Don’t automatically pay the Medpay insurer without having a complete understanding of California law as it relates to Medpay reimbursement.
California Medpay Likely Won’t Cover You If You Get Workers’ Compensation for your Florida Car Accident
If you’re injured while on a business trip in Florida, and you get workers’ compensation benefits, your California Medpay coverage likely won’t cover you.
This is because most California auto insurance policies say that you’re not entitled to Medpay if you get workers compensation benefits.
What if You Don’t Have California Medpay and You’re Hurt in a Florida Car Accident?
Let’s assume that you’re a California resident and you:
- Don’t have Medpay on your California auto insurance policy.
- You’re hurt while in a car that is registered in Florida.
If you’re California auto insurance policy says that your auto insurance meets the minimum requirements of financial responsibility if you’re hurt in another state, then your California auto insurance policy will provide you Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.
If your California auto policy doesn’t have Medpay, you should be entitled to PIP benefits from the car that you are in at the time of the accident in Florida.
California Medpay Should Cover You if You’re Hit by a Car While You’re a Pedestrian in Florida
If you’re from California and you’re hit by a car while you’re a pedestrian in Florida, your California Medpay coverage from your car insurance should pay your medical bills.
I’ve had a California auto insurer pay medical bills for a client of mine who was from California and was hit while crossing the street in Florida.
What if You’re From California, and You’re Hit by a Car While You’re a Pedestrian in Florida
If you’re from California and you’re hit by a careless driver while you’re a pedestrian in Florida, you likely won’t need a threshold injury in order to be entitled to money for pain and suffering. This increases the settlement value of your case.
However, if you’re a California resident with $10,000 or more in Medpay coverage on a California auto insurance policy, you may need to have a threshold injury in order to be entitled to money for pain and suffering.
The bad news for California residents who are hit while a pedestrian in Florida is that the driver’s PIP likely won’t cover you. However, you can still use your health insurance or any other first party coverage to get your medical bills paid.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance if You’re From California and You’re Hurt in a Florida Car Wreck
Uninsured motorist (“UM”) insurance is optional in both Florida and California. In California, this coverage is called:
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI): It pays for injuries to you when there is an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault.
- Underinsured motorist (UIM): It covers costs for bodily injury if you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your damages.
If you’re from California and you’re hurt in a Florida car accident, you’re entitled to UM coverage if:
- you have UMBI or UIM on your personal vehicle (e.g. car, etc.)
- a resident relative has UMBI or UIM on their vehicle
- the host vehicle (car that you were in) has UM coverage.
California Residents Can Sue a California UMBI or UIM Insurer in Florida for a Florida Accident
If you’re hurt in a Florida car accident, but are from California and are entitled to UM from a California auto policy, you can sue the UM insurer in Florida.
California Residents Can Also Sue a Florida UM or UIM Insurer in Florida for a Florida Accident
If you’re hurt in a Florida car accident, but are from California and are entitled to UM from a Florida auto policy, you can sue the UM insurer in Florida.
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