You may not think twice about driving out-of-state for a vacation or a visit to see family. Most of the time your trip will go according to plan. Unfortunately, even drivers with great records can find themselves in an accident in another state at the hand of careless individual. Do you know what to do if you get into an accident in another state?
Overall, out-of-state car accidents are handled much like they would be in your home state. You insurance will likely cover you regardless of where you are driving in the United States. There may be slight differences in accident processing from state to state, which is why it’s prudent to find out about the laws where you will be driving.
One key difference that you may notice between different states is that some follow a “no-fault” statute that means your own insurance will pay for an injury, regardless of who caused the accident. States that do not have a no-fault insurance system will allow you to seek legal action against the party responsible for the accident.
If you are in an accident, remember the key things to do in any car accident. See if anyone is injured, move the cars out of the path of oncoming traffic if possible, call emergency services to report the accident and receive medical attention, and exchange insurance information with other drivers involved. Never leave an accident scene prior to talking with law enforcement. If applicable, you may also want to talk to witnesses and ask them for contact information. Take pictures for your attorney or insurance provider later on, and don’t admit fault at the scene.
As soon as possible, contact your insurance company. Your agent will be able to answer some basic questions about what you should expect from the state in which you have an accident. They can even help you contact a towing service and find an alternative means of transportation.
In the event that you are injured in an out-of-state accident, you may be considering taking legal action against the responsible party. An accident in another state will fall under that state’s jurisdiction, where the injury laws may be different from those in your home state. You will need an attorney who is admitted in the state to help you bring a case against the defendant. If you have experience with an injury attorney in your home state, contact his or her office for a recommendation on an attorney. You may even find that your attorney is able to practice in the state where you had your accident.
The statute of limitations on filing a suit, recovery limits, and other aspects of the case may be different in another state. Getting in touch with a qualified car accident attorney as soon as possible is the best way to ensure that you are approaching a legal claim in the appropriate way. Even though filing a lawsuit can take time in another state, it may be the best way to cover medical expenses, car damage, and other costs that may not be covered by your auto insurance.