Out-of-State Accidents: What to Do

Picture: ErikaWittlieb

It can be overwhelming when you find yourself in a car accident. You may have been entirely prepared for your trip and didn’t see it coming, or you simply don’t understand what you’re supposed to do post-collision. These overwhelming feelings can be exacerbated if you’re in an unfamiliar state where you may not know their particular laws and the steps you have to take. Whether you’re on an out-of-state business trip or vacation, the following information may help.

Immediately After the Accident

What you do immediately after the accident can be the same across all parts of the United States. Phone 911 to report the incident to the police and request an ambulance if there are injured parties. Take pictures of the scene if you’re in a position to do so, and get the names and contact information of any crash witnesses. It’s also important to contact a car accident attorney like Florin Roebig, who can outline your next steps, such as notifying your insurance company.

Making an Insurance Claim

Many people hire rental cars when vacationing around the country. Still, there can be peace of mind associated with using your own vehicle if you end up in a collision. Instead of dealing with the rental car company and insurance companies, you just need to make contact with your own insurance company.

Managing insurance claims when you’re not at home state may seem complicated, but it’s not usually that much different from when you’re at home. Most auto policies extend across US states and territories, and even those in Canada. Depending on the complexity of the collision, you may decide to talk to your car accident attorney first. They can then communicate with your insurance company on your behalf or allow you to manage it yourself.

Your insurance company may assign an adjuster from where the accident happened or your hometown. You may then be able to use resources in the area the accident happened or your home state, depending on the insurance company.

Filing a Lawsuit

Not everything on an out-of-state trip goes to plan, even if you’ve put a lot of effort into making the trip a memorable one. If you end up in a car accident where someone else is at fault, you may decide to file an injury lawsuit to cover the associated costs.

Since the accident happened out-of-state, it’s essential to know where you can file that claim. The answer can differ, depending on which state you were in when the accident happened. In nearly all cases, you will be following the laws of the state in which the collision occurred.

However, there will be situations that allow you to file where the defendant lives or where the car accident happens. Given the different laws across each state, it can be worth talking to your lawyer to determine your rights and requirements.

Getting into a car accident is not an ideal situation. It can be even more stressful when it happens out of state. After notifying emergency services and documenting the scene, you can then focus on making your insurance claim and discussing a potential lawsuit with your chosen lawyer.

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