Protect Yourself When Renting a Car in Florida

Our Orlando Auto Accident Lawyers Help International Tourists

Photo of a car accidentWith more than half a century, our law firm has been helping clients involved in car accidents, including international tourists. Each Orlando personal injury lawyer at our law firm is Board Certified in the area of Civil Trial Practice and we have successfully obtained millions of dollars in recoveries for our clients. This experience has led us to put together the information below for people renting cars in Orlando in order to make sure that each person is properly insured and knows what to do in the event of an auto accident. If you are hurt in a car accident, contact our Orlando auto accident lawyers to set up a completely free consultation. There is no fee to hire us; if we do not win your case, you do not pay any attorney fees. Outside the US, please call +1(407)843-7060. If you are in the US, please call toll free to (800)235-7060.

Before You Rent the Car

You must get the proper insurance. Even if you purchased travel insurance, it may not provide the protection you need. The travel insurance does not protect you when you are hurt from the fault of others. National Health Service (NHS) does not protect you either. Finally, the insurance you get from your credit card when you rent a car does not protect you. The only way to ensure your protection is to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage from the car rental company. You will also need to purchase liability insurance from the rental car company. This protects you if you harm others and is a prerequisite to the purchase of uninsured motorist coverage in the event of a car crash.

Types of Auto Insurance

According to Florida law, you will automatically receive Personal Injury Protection insurance. This is minimal health and disability insurance and really offers nothing more than the travel insurance. It is the UM coverage that you need to purchase. You should purchase one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) in coverage. This is not expensive (a few dollars per day) and is the only way to protect you and your family from negligent drivers in the U.S. who are not insured. Trust us: there are lots of them out there, and there are more every day. If you do not protect yourself from them, no one else will. The laws in the United States require very little insurance, and in some states like Florida, no bodily injury liability insurance is required to drive a car.

Uninsured Motorist Laws

The law for Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage varies from state to state for United States road traffic car accident claims. In Florida, UM coverage is not required. You may make a UM claim for the uninsured motorists/ underinsured motorists coverage of your own insurance policy when:

  • The at-fault parties for the accident are uninsured or underinsured;
  • You were injured in a hit and run accident;
  • You were hurt by an entity that is legally limited in liability (a city or state truck, for example); or
  • The at fault parties have inadequate liability insurance to pay your injuries.

If you make a UM claim, your own insurance company will “stand in the shoes” of the other driver and insurance company and use all of their defenses. In effect, you will argue against your own insurance company in making the claim. Your insurance company will not be on your side.

What to do At the Scene of a Car Accident

Not sure what to do after a car accident? If you are physically able:

  • Move the car. If safe to do so, move your vehicle out of the road. Florida law requires you to do so when possible.
  • Get medical attention for yourself and for others. Offering aid does not constitute an admission of fault. It is best to get medical attention immediately, but if you decline it initially or start to feel worse later, get medical care then. The longer you wait, the more the insurance company will try to claim you were not hurt.
  • Call the police. Do not just get the other driver’s name, license info, etc. Insist that the driver call the police, or call them yourself using the local 911 phone service.
  • Get witness names and numbers. A witness cannot help you unless you write down their names and addresses. Do not expect the police to get all the names; rather, you should record their information while waiting for the police in case they leave before the police arrive.
  • Take pictures. Take pictures of all vehicles involved and the accident scene. Pictures of the accident scene are very important: the police will not do this except in very severe accidents involving death or risk of death.

What to Do After a Car Accident

Call your travel insurer, rental car company and rental car insurance. Get claim numbers, contact names, numbers and addresses. Do not make a recorded statement unless and until you talk to Orlando auto accident lawyers first. Even your insurance company has an incentive to use a statement against you that you made to them in the later event of a claim. This is very important so that the insurer cannot claim you gave late notice or failed to cooperate with the car accident claim.

Take pictures of your injuries. Documentation is key; write down dates and how you are feeling. Take pictures as the injuries or pain changes.

Beware of unsolicited calls. You may get calls from insurance company investigators and unscrupulous lawyers or physicians. Do not take these calls until you get proper advice from an attorney.

Find the Right Orlando Auto Accident Lawyers for You

Look for a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who focuses on civil cases like road traffic accidents and who can tell you he or she does so with the blessing of the Florida or other State Bar association that governs lawyers. The State Bar Association will give you the names of Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyers who can help with auto accident claims.

Studies show that claimants who hire lawyers receive more compensation in car accident claims than those who do not. Your attorney can help seek compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Loss of earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Vehicle damage
  • Non vehicle property damage
  • Ruined holiday damages (or the portion of the holiday that was ruined)

Make sure the US lawyer has experience in handling UK or other foreign injury claims. Most US lawyers have never handled an auto accident claim for a foreign visitor to the US. It is important to know how to handle the medical issues, travel insurance reimbursement, NHS reimbursement and proof of loss of earnings issues that must be dealt with in road traffic accident claims for our foreign visitors, especially those in the UK. Our firm has the experience, expertise and the contacts in the UK to handle these claims efficiently.

Why Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. is the Best Choice after Your Car Accident

At Wooten Kimbrough, P.A., our Orlando auto accident lawyers have worked with doctors and solicitors to help our foreign clients all over the United Kingdom, including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have taken depositions in the UK from Portsmouth to Manchester, to London to Cardiff.

Be aware of statutes of limitations and other deadlines. In general, victims of road traffic accidents in Florida have four (4) years to bring a claim. Please be aware, however that there are other shorter and longer limitations periods that can apply depending on who was at fault and what claim is being made. Determining the appropriate limitations period depends on the application of facts to law and requires sound legal advice.

If you have been involved in a car accident, contact our Orlando car accident attorneys at Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. immediately. Outside the US, please call +1(407)843-7060. If you are in the US, please call toll free to (800)235-7060. We offer free consultations to those in need.