Should I Hire a Lawyer Back Home if I was Hurt in Florida While on Vacation?

Someone Driving with Their Top DownYear round families flock to Florida for the warm weather. They make plans to see Mickey Mouse at the various Disney parks and build sandcastles at the beach. They do not plan to lose a loved one to a motor vehicle accident.

Tourists are most often injured in motor vehicle accidents on the busy interstates like I-4 and I-75. Drivers on our interstates travel at high speeds. Small coastal communities that develop into tourist hotspots weren’t designed to accommodate double or even triple the number of people and cars in small spaces, especially during spring break. The odds of a car accident or being hit as a pedestrian greatly increase during these busy months.

When tragedy strikes it is always unexpected. You have to make decisions that will have a big impact on your future, including hiring the right lawyer. Well meaning friends may suggest hiring a lawyer back home where you live, but that is not the best option.

There are substantial reasons for hiring a Florida attorney for your accident claim. First off, the accident happened in Florida and is a Florida case so any litigation will be handled in Florida. The accident scene, the adjusters, the witnesses are likely all in Florida. If witnesses or parties need to be interviewed, they will likely be done in Florida.

Second, Florida law governs your accident claim because it happened here. The law varies in surprising ways from state to state. An out of state attorney may not know Florida law and miss important deadlines.

Third, and likely most important for your claim, an out of state attorney cannot file a lawsuit in Florida without hiring a Florida attorney anyway. Attorneys have to be licensed in Florida to file suit in the state. The claims adjusters know this and will capitalize on this when negotiating a pre-suit settlement offer. It is much easier for a Florida attorney to file suit when their client is unhappy with the settlement offer than it is for an out of state lawyer. Claims adjusters know this; so should you.

Finally, although you will be far away from your attorney, you won’t miss out on any contact. Most legal representation is handled via telephone calls, letters and e-mail. Very few clients (even local ones) come to the office on a regular basis. In fact, with video conferencing technology we can schedule time to meet face to face without having to jump on a plane or drive for hours.

If you or someone you love needs our help, don’t hesitate to contact us. Communication is as important to us as it is to you. Despite being far away, we always return your calls promptly. In fact, we give all our clients a written pledge to do so. We will handle your claim so you can focus on your emotional and physical health and your recovery.

Jim Dodson
A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.