If you’re a Georgia resident who is hurt in a Florida auto accident, different laws may apply to your case than if you are a Florida resident.
Different laws may also apply if you’re making a claim under a Georgia 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 Georgia and were hurt in Florida auto accident; and/or
- you’re an “insured” under a Georgia auto policy and hurt in a Florida crash
If you meet one of the two scenarios above, your case is even different from an a visitor from a state other than Georgia who is hurt in Florida auto accident.
Here, I’ll focus on some major differences that may exist when dealing with Georgia auto insurance in a Florida accident.
Georgia Medical Payments Coverage May Cover You
Car owners in Georgia can elect to purchase medical payments (“Medpay”) insurance, but it isn’t required. Unlike uninsured motorist insurance, Medpay coverage applies regardless of fault.
Georgia Medpay coverage is similar to Florida Medpay coverage. I’ve represented people injured in Florida who had a Georgia car insurance policy with Medpay limits of $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.
There are 2 scenarios where Georgia Medpay will cover you in a Florida car accident. They are if you’re:
- In a Georgia car (with Medpay coverage) that is in a Florida crash;
- A Georgia resident with Medpay on your car insurance policy and you’re hurt in a Florida car accident
You May Be Required to Pay the Georgia Medpay Insurer from Your Florida Injury Settlement
If an injured person’s receives Medpay coverage on a Georgia car insurance policy, and he or she settles a personal injury claim, he or she may have to pay back the Medpay insurer. However, the injured person must repay the Medpay insurer only if two conditions are met. O.C.G.A. § 33-24-56.1(b)
The conditions are:
1. The amount of the recovery exceeds the sum of all medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering incurred as a result of the injury, exclusive of losses for which reimbursement may be sought under this Code section; and
2. The amount of the reimbursement claim is reduced by the pro rata amount of the attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation incurred by the injured party in bringing the claim.
The injured person should ask the Medpay insurance company to state that it is not asking to get reimbursed for the bills that it has paid. They should get this in writing. This also assumes that Medpay has paid or will pay bills.
Warning! Don’t automatically pay the Medpay insurer without having a complete understanding of Georgia law as it relates to Medpay reimbursement.
Georgia Medpay Likely Won’t Cover You If You’re on Business Trip When the Accident Happens
If you’re injured while on a business trip in Florida, and you get workers’ compensation benefits, your Georgia Medpay coverage likely won’t cover you.
This is because most Georgia auto insurance policies say that you’re not entitled to Medpay if you get workers compensation benefits.
What if You Don’t Have Georgia Medpay and You’re Hurt in a Florida Car Accident?
Let’s assume that you’re a Georgia resident and you:
- Don’t have Medpay on your Georgia auto insurance policy.
- You’re hurt while in a car that is registered in Florida
If you’re Georgia auto insurance policy has a provision that says that your auto insurance meets the minimum requirements of financial responsibility if you’re hurt in another state, then your Georgia auto insurance policy will provide you Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.
However, the Georgia resident did qualify for PIP benefits through the car that in which she was a passenger (“host vehicle”) while in Florida.
You Get PIP Benefits from the Florida Host Vehicle’s Insurer
As you saw from the example above, any time that you’re in a Florida private passenger vehicle, you are covered under the host vehicle’s PIP.
Can a Georgia Resident Who Is Hit By a Car While a Pedestrian in Florida Get Money for Pain and Suffering?
Yes, if the driver’s negligence caused the pedestrian’s injury.
$300K Settlement for Georgia Resident Who Was Injured in Florida Car Accident
Ryan was driving an Avis rental car in Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida. He lived in Georgia, but was in Florida for a business trip.
Another car made a left hand turn and crashed into Ryan’s car. The other driver got a ticket for failure to yield the right of way.
The diagram from the crash report is below. Ryan was driving vehicle #2 in the diagram.
Claimant was in car #2. Car #1 got the ticket.A photo of car #2 is below.
After the crash, Ryan was taken by ambulance to the hospital. At the hospital, an x-ray showed that he had a broken leg. All things equal, a broken leg is worth more than back pain or a herniated disc.
Specifically, he had a lateral tibial plateau fracture. The tibial plateau is the top of the lower leg bone (the tibia).
A lateral tibial plateau fracture is the part of the tibia that is farther from the middle of the body. A medial tibial plateau fracture is the closer to the center of the body.
All things equal, a lateral tibial plateau fracture is worth less than a medial tibial plateau fracture. This is because many doctors will say that you are less likely to need a knee replacement if you have a lateral tibial plateau fracture.
Many doctors will say you are more likely to need a knee replacement if you fracture your medial tibial plateau. This is because more weight is placed on the medial tibial plateau than the lateral tibial plateau.
Doctors Did Emergency Surgery to Repair the Fracture
At the hospital, Dr. William Lowry performed emergency surgery to repair the fracture. He inserted a plate and screws at the fracture site.
Below, you can see an x-ray of his tibial plateau after the surgery.
After the surgery, he couldn’t put weight on his injured leg. Thus, he was put in a wheelchair.
Allstate insured the driver who received a ticket for causing the crash. They paid $100,000 to settle my client’s injury claim. Allstate’s check is below:
Sadly, the other driver died after the crash.
Fortunately, Ryan had uninsured motorist insurance. Travelers insured him.
Georgia Uninsured Motorist Insurance Laws May Apply to a Florida Accident
Florida has general time limit to sue for personal injury. However, there are exceptions to the rule.
One of the benefits of hiring an injury lawyer is that he or she should know these exceptions.
Ryan had a much shorter time to make an uninsured motorist (UM) insurance claim.
One Florida court said that a Georgia resident who was hurt in a Florida car accident only had 2 years to sue the UM insurer!
This is much shorter than Florida’s five year uninsured motorist insurance time limit.
It gets worse…
Some Georgia UM policies require the insured to notify the UM insurer within 60 days of the accident.
If you fail to notify them, you can lose your valuable UM insurance!
The good news?
Travelers paid $200,000 to settle the UM insurance claim. Travelers’ settlement check is below:
$200k Travelers’ settlement check (info redacted)
However, Travelers is worse than USAA.
$130K Settlement for Georgia Resident for Florida Car Accident
A person who lived in Georgia was on vacation in Florida. She was an occupant of a car owned by a Florida resident.
I settled the case for over $130,000.
I want to represent you if you were hurt in a Florida car accident or other accident.
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