The law can get tricky when it comes to car accidents in other states. You may have many questions regarding your case.
- Will my insurance cover the damages?
- Can I still sue the driver responsible for my accident for compensation?
- Which state laws apply to me?
However, in the aftermath of your out-of-state car accident, there are specific steps you can take, including:
- Calling emergency responders and police
- Obtaining medical attention
- Taking photos of the damage at the accident scene
- Getting the names of witnesses to the accident
- Never admitting guilt or fault
- Notifying insurers
We can provide you with all of the specific answers you need regarding your out-of-state car accident. The car accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates have helped many clients get a fair settlement for their damages. For a free consultation, please call us today to get started on your out-of-state accident claim.
What You Should Do After an Out-of-State Car Accident
You should follow these basic steps after going through any car accident, regardless of whether it’s in another state.
Call Emergency Responders and Police
Immediately after the accident, you need to call 911. Even in seemingly minor accidents, contacting law enforcement officials is in everyone’s best interests.
Police will be able to document the scene, identify liable parties, and work with accident reconstructionists, which will provide valuable evidence to support your case.
Get Medical Treatment
You should always try to get medical treatment as quickly as you can. You can usually prevent any permanent damage from setting in after a car accident by getting them treated promptly.
Don’t try to make your injuries worse for a higher settlement. Your health and well-being are something money can’t replace.
Collect as Much Evidence as Possible
There may be various types of evidence that you can gather, including photographs, witness testimony, and any potential CCTV footage in the area. The more evidence you obtain, the easier it will be to negotiate for a settlement and prove your claim. Because this accident took place out of state, you should try to take as many photos as possible of the accident, your injuries, etc.
Even if you think that the evidence you’re collecting is trivial, it really isn’t. Every little bit helps your case. You are probably not going to be able to return to the scene of the accident frequently, considering you’re in another state. Getting all the evidence you can is crucial.
Get Names of Witnesses
If you can speak with witnesses, jot down their statements, and obtain contact information for them, your car accident attorney can reach out further and schedule depositions. These witnesses may be able to help support your case against the liable party.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Do not contact the insurance company without first speaking to your car accident attorney. In fact, your car accident lawyer can handle notifying the insurance company on your behalf. That way, you do not put yourself at risk of being taken advantage of.
Never Admit Fault
You can expect the liable party to blame you for causing the accident. They will look for every opportunity to argue you are responsible for causing your own injuries. If you admit guilt or fault for causing the accident in any way, it could have a devastating impact on the amount of compensation you could be awarded.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver
If possible, always try to get the information of the other driver. Take down their name, license plate, insurance information, etc. The more detail you get, the better since this person lives in a completely different state than you.
Contact a Lawyer
Before you file your claim, you need to contact a lawyer quickly, especially since this is an out-of-state accident. There is a lot of legal work and knowledge required with filing a claim in another state and holding a resident of a different state accountable for your damages. It can be next to impossible to recover a settlement that truly reflects your damages without any legal experience.
The lawyers at John Foy & Associates have been practicing law for more than two decades and have recovered more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements. You can trust our team to help you win.
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Which State Laws Do I Need to Follow?
When it comes to car accidents, you follow the laws in the state that the crash occurred in. You should be mindful of the laws of the state you’re driving in, as you will be subject to those when you file your claim.
Also, keep in mind that the statute of limitations is different for each state. While the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §9-3-33 gives Georgia residents two years to file their claim, other states can give you as many as six years and as little as one.
This is one of the main reasons why retaining a lawyer is essential. Dealing with unfamiliar laws and figuring out your legal options is difficult to do by yourself. With help from our lawyers, we can tell you exactly what you need to do for your out-of-state car accident.
Remember No-Fault Laws
Some states in the U.S. have no-fault laws in place for car accident claims. Only a handful of places in the country do this, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III):
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
No-fault laws are in place in some states in order to prevent any potentially unnecessary claims from going to trial. Instead of filing a claim against another driver’s insurance for compensation, each party involved in a car accident recovers compensation from their own insurance policies.
It doesn’t matter who was responsible for causing the accident. You cannot sue for a settlement in these states. While no-fault laws were initially put in place to protect all parties and prevent any wasted time in court, the truth is that these laws end up being more complicated and frustrating than they are helpful. If your accident was in a no-fault state, our lawyers can help guide you through the next steps involved in getting compensation.
Get Help for Your Out-of-State Car Accident Today
We know it can be hard to get compensated for a car accident that happened in another state. Our car accident lawyers are well-versed in car accident laws at the local, state, and federal levels. Take advantage of our free consultations by scheduling an appointment with us today.
You can reach our law office by filling out our online contact form or calling us directly 24/7.