If you are a Canadian resident that has been injured while travelling to Florida, it can be very confusing to determine where to obtain help for accident claim. The short answer is that you may need a lawyer with experience with Ontario law and Florida law.
If the accident involves a motor vehicle, such as a car crash, or motor vehicle striking a cyclist or pedestrian then at least part of your claim for insurance benefits must proceed in Ontario. Ontario has a no-fault benefits system known as statutory accident benefits that provide certain basic coverage for Ontario residents that are injured in accidents involving motor vehicles. These benefits are available for accidents occurring in Canada or the United States. Such benefits must be accessed in Ontario, and any lawsuits arising out of entitlement to these benefits need to be commenced in an Ontario court.
In addition to the statutory accident benefits available to Ontario residents injured in Florida, the Ontario resident may also have a claim in tort against the at-fault party and their auto insurance policy. For Ontario residents that sustain serious injuries in Florida, these claims usually involve claims against American and Canadian auto insurance policies. In our experience, most often when an Ontario resident is injured in a car accident in the United States, there is insufficient insurance limits available on the at-fault Florida vehicle. The minimum insurance limits in Florida are far less than in Ontario. As such, Ontario residents that are injured in Florida car accidents will often need to advance a claim in Ontario, Canada for the uninsured and underinsured benefits. In these claims, the jurisdiction is Ontario, although some Florida law applies to resolving the claim.
Cross border personal injury cases can be complex and you should not delay in consulting a Ontario personal injury lawyer to make certain that your rights are fully protected.
Andrew Iacobelli, obtained his Juris Doctor degree (cum laude) from Michigan State University and he is licensed to practice law in the province of Ontario and in the State of Michigan and State of Florida. Andrew is also admitted to practice in the United States Federal Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida, and the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal. Before returning to Ontario, Andrew litigated serious personal injury, wrongful death, and insurance bad faith claims in the United States. Andrew has established a network of legal professionals in the United States with whom he is able to co-ordinate legal proceedings which must be conducted in the United States.
If you have been seriously injured in a Florida accident, call us for a FREE CONSULTATION toll free at 1-866-234-6093.
Andrew Iacobelli is a lawyer, licensed to practice law in Florida, Michigan and Ontario. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of individuals that have been seriously injured.