Generally speaking, Florida state courts have the authority and the jurisdiction to oversee civil lawsuits pertaining to car accidents that happen in this state. However, as the recent case of Erie Insurance v. Larose reveals, a tricky matter of personal jurisdiction of an insurer may force a plaintiff to pursue their claim in a federal courtroom.
In the Larose case, the question was whether an out-of-state auto insurance company that issued a policy to an insured out-of-state:
- Met the criteria for Florida’s long-arm jurisdiction statute in F.S. 48.193;
- Had a sufficient number of contacts with Florida so that subjecting it to jurisdiction in Florida courts wouldn’t offend constitutional due process.
While the court found Florida’s long-arm statute was applicable, it could not find that plaintiff proved defendant had a sufficient number of Florida contacts. Continue reading