You’ll never know when you’re going to get involved in a car accident. That’s why they call it an accident because you aren’t planning it. But when it happens while you’re visiting another state, the situation may become more complicated than it already is. Out of state accidents can leave you feeling even more helpless. It can be a scary time. But there’s no need to panic. This guide will take you through what you need to do after a car accident in another state.
But whether you’re involved in an accident near your hometown or another state, you need to follow these crucial steps to make sure that you get a positive outcome from such a negative experience.
Gather as Much Evidence As You Can
No matter what state the accident took place in, or if it was with an out of state driver, or even with a driver from another planet, your priority is ALWAYS to gather as much evidence as possible.
Although you may feel frazzled and in shock on the day of the accident, it’s very important to take note of some important information that will help you deal with the situation.
Firstly, you need to call the police to respond to the accident and have yourself treated for your injuries. You should also take photos of the scene, get the names of people who saw the accident, and exchange information with the at-fault driver.
Knowing what to do after a car accident can mean the difference between a large settlement check to cover your bills or a year worth of headaches and debt.
Find out if you are in a no-fault state. Florida is a no-fault state, which means all drivers have personal injury protection (P.I.P.) coverage which is used to cover their injuries and maybe even your injuries.
If you are involved in an out of state accident in a state that is not a no-fault state, (sometimes called a tort state), then the negligent driver will be held responsible for all injuries and damages.
Here is a list of no-fault states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
Notify Your Insurance Company
What does your insurance cover? The good news is: most insurance companies cover all 50 states and other American territories like Puerto Rico. Some companies even extend their coverage to Canada, which means that you need to notify your insurance company right away and let them know that you were involved in an out of state accident.
There is no such thing as out of state car insurance, use the coverage you currently have.
It would also be smart to consult a car accident lawyer regarding insurance coverage, especially if you run into any problems. Find a lawyer that is licensed in the state you had the accident. If you can, find a lawyer that is licensed in that state and in your home state. That will make your life a lot easier because you can communicate with the local office as well.
Either way, the lawyer you find must be licensed to practice in the state you had the accident. So if you were involved in an accident in Palm Beach, you should consult with a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer.
What damages will your policy cover? But in general, insurance companies will immediately assign an adjustor from the area where the accident took place or from your hometown depending on their policies. You’ll also have no problems with regards to repairs even if you’re out-of-state as long as your policy is sufficient and your claim falls within the agreements.
File an Injury Lawsuit If Needed
If the out of state accident resulted in some serious injuries to yourself or a loved one, you may need to file an injury lawsuit against the driver. This will make the at-fault driver liable for covering the damages to your vehicle, the medical bills, and any other extra expenses incurred because of the accident.
Since you’re dealing with a case outside your state, you will need to follow the law regarding out-of-state accidents.
Each state likely has specific laws about car accidents. Of course, this is why it’s wise to work with a lawyer after a car accident. A lawyer will help you file a lawsuit and increase your chances of actually winning it.
You can either file a suit in the state where the accident took place OR in the state where the negligent driver lives. So, if you have an out of state accident while driving to visit family, let say in Florida, and the driver who hit you is also visiting Florida from Texas. You can either file a lawsuit in Florida where the accident took place, or in Texas where the negligent driver lives.
Rental Car & Rideshare Accidents
If you were involved in an out of sate accident with a rental car, your current insurance coverage may cover some of the costs. Injuries and damages may be protected after an accident.
If you were involved in an out of state accident, in an Uber, or Lyft, or any other rideshare program, your situation may be slightly trickier. You can, and should speak to a rideshare car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Steinger, Greene & Feiner
Being involved in an out-of-state car accident will bring a lot of trauma and stress even if you did not incur any serious injuries or damage to your car. Aside from the trauma and stress caused by the accident, you probably don’t know how to deal with the ordeal, which may add to your panic.
That is why it’s important to know the steps that you should take, how you should deal with your insurance company, and what information you will need to get your insurance claim and win a lawsuit.
Steinger, Greene & Feiner has represented over 32,000 clients in 23 years and collected more than $1 Billion. Speak with one of our attorneys for free today and let us help you make an informed decision. Call (800) 560-5059.