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What Happens if I’m Injured by a Driver from Another State?

What Happens if I’m Injured by a Driver from Another State?

Car accidents can pose great risks, result in significant personal injuries and damages, and require their victims to file complex claims in order to obtain compensation. Accidents happen everywhere — and, with interstate travel increasingly popular, sometimes they involve drivers from different states.

Yet the complexity of cases can be exacerbated when the party responsible for the accident resides in another state. Whether you’ve experienced a car accident in another state, or you’ve been struck by an out-of-state driver in your home state, you’ll want the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to navigate your case.

After a crash, you might be in a state of shock. You might be confused, or you might be angry. These feelings are common and normal. But it’s important to get into a calm mindset before talking to the other driver or the police. It’s hard to speak clearly and rationally if you’re angry or upset.

If you or your passenger(s) is seriously injured, pinned, bleeding, or unresponsive, don’t try to move yourself or the passenger. This can make injuries worse. Call 911 immediately or make sure someone else on the scene calls. If you’re not seriously injured, take a few deep breaths and do the following:

What if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident While Traveling to Another State?

If you get into a car accident in a different state, first and foremost, be sure you get to a safe location and get medical help for any injuries. Call local authorities to report the accident; take pictures at the scene; exchange insurance information with the other driver; and get contact information for any witnesses, the other party, and the authorities before you leave. Take the same precautions you would take in your home state, in order to preserve important evidence and protect your legal rights.

Two particularly significant areas of the law that can vary by state are the laws around liability and damages. In at-fault states, liability for an accident plays a big part in determining when the victim of the accident is able to file a claim. No-fault states require personal injury protection as part of each driver’s policy, and you will need to seek compensation from your own insurer unless your damages significantly surpass the policy maximums.

The application of insurance laws and policies can also vary, depending on the state, and policy limits can vary, depending on what each state sets as its minimums. It is important to keep up-to-date on your insurance policy, understand its coverage and limitations, as well as to understand the laws of the state in which your accident occurred.

What if You’ve Been Injured in Your Home State by an Out-of-State Driver?

First, it’s important to know that the traffic laws of your home state — and the rules of the road — typically apply to everyone using the roads, no matter what state they hail from. If you’re injured in an accident due to the negligent conduct of a driver from another state, the rules of your home state will apply to your claim. Essentially, by driving on your state’s roads, the other party has taken it upon themselves to observe state and local road rules and, should they cause an accident, they can reasonably expect that a claim will be brought against them. Moreover, the other driver will not be able to use ignorance of your home state’s laws as a defense to a valid claim.

Still, a claim against an out-of-state driver can quickly become complex. For starters, it may be more difficult to find the party at fault for the accident, especially if they leave your state to return to theirs; it might also be more difficult to keep the lines of communication open. An experienced car accident lawyer can communicate with the out-of-state party and their insurance company on your behalf, negotiating for a fair and reasonable settlement. You may be able to recover compensation for the damages you’ve suffered as a result of the out-of-state driver’s negligent conduct, including medical bills, repairs to your vehicle, and lost wages, among many other categories.

How Can Johnson Garcia Help with Your Car Accident Claim?

Car accident cases against drivers from other states can pose some legal complexities that you should not navigate alone. An experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help negotiate with the other party and their insurance company, as well as prepare a strong case on your behalf, should you need to go to court.

Our attorneys at Johnson Garcia have many years of experience in helping victims of car accidents obtain sizable settlements and resolve their claims. If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another party, call our legal team at Johnson Garcia. We can be reached by phone at 832-844-6700.

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