How Are Out Of State Drivers Treated?

Here’s a great article by Max Soni – founding partner at Zooomr, a tech company that helps consumers get amazing Los Angeles car lease deals. Car accidents are difficult enough to handle on their own without adding an out-of-state driver to the mix. There are so many different state laws that apply to insurance policies, accidents, and medical protection it’s virtually impossible to tell you what might happen if you’re involved in a car accident out of your state or in your state with someone who lives in another state. The law is different everywhere, and no two states have the same insurance laws. What your insurance requires in your state might not be what it requires in another state, even if you and the at-fault driver carry the same insurance company’s coverage.

You’re going to find being involved in an accident while you or the other driver is driving in a different state than the one in which you reside is even more confusing. It’s not easy to navigate the waters when an accident isn’t black and white, and that’s where a personal injury attorney comes in handy. This is a person who knows the law in a particular state, and they can help you by answering questions and helping you navigate the confusing days ahead.

Some factors that cause issues in out-of-state accidents include:

– Where you live
– Where the accident took place
– What the laws are in the state where the accident occurred
– If the state was a no-fault state
– Who caused the accident (was the person drinking, or smoking e-liquids, etc)
– How serious the accident was

There’s no easy way to tell you what to do. Let’s take Florida for example. It’s a no-fault state, which means any Floridian involved in an accident out of Florida will be responsible for calling their own insurance company to pay for the damage to their vehicle even if they did not cause the accident. This happens because their insurance is kept in Florida, where the no-fault state rule applies. If you’re involved in an accident in a state where there is fault and you live in a state with fault, you’ll call the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

If you’re the passenger in someone else’s car during an out-of-state accident, you’ll find out your medical insurance might not cover you when you need your medical bills paid depending on where you live and where your insurance policy is kept.

Medical Bills and Out-Of-State Drivers

Whether you were the person out-of-state or not, you’ll find you have to handle your own medical bills at least initially. Your health insurance will help you cover the cost of your medical bills if you’re injured, but state law where you live and where the accident occurred might mean waiting a while to seek recovery for your out-of-pocket expenses. There are always personal injury lawsuits to file, but they become a bit more complicated when they occur in a situation like this one.

Vehicle Damage

The best thing you can do is learn the law in the state where the accident occurs, or just call your own insurance company to find out what you might do next. If you live in a no-fault state such as Florida, you’ll call your insurance company regardless. However, the state in which the driver who caused the accident lives might have different laws that your insurance company is able to help you understand. Another option is to contact a personal injury attorney to ask them what you can do, what rights you have, and who is responsible for your accident and the subsequent repairs to your vehicle. Your vehicle will be repaired, but it’s not always easy to know who is responsible for that until you become familiar with the laws.

Lawsuit Limitations

When an out-of-state accident occurs, you might not know what the law entails. You might go through weeks of confusion speaking to insurance companies, handling medical bills, and more, and you might wonder if you have a lawsuit on your hands. A personal injury attorney can help you with this, but you do have to consider the statute of limitations in the state in which the accident occurred. You only have so long to file a lawsuit before you’re no longer able to do so, and it might mean spending a little more time with your attorney to figure out the best course of action.

Attorneys and Lawsuits

If you’re involved in a car accident in another state, you’re going to have questions regarding potential lawsuits. Do you hire an attorney where you live, or one where the accident occurred? Attorneys are well-versed handling cases in which the driver is not a resident of the state. You want to hire someone who is familiar with the law in the state where the accident occurred, and you’ll want to make that call right away.

You’re probably not familiar with the law in another state, which means hiring an attorney is going to provide you the insight you need to handle a case like this. When injuries are serious enough to warrant a lawsuit to collect damages for medical bills and lost wages, you want someone who knows the law and what it entails in the state in which the accident occurs. Like any state, you’ll need proof the other driver caused the accident, but once you have that the process is a bit simpler.