Legal Options After a Car Accident with an Out-of-State Driver
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People travel out of state for many reasons: work duties, school, visiting family, travel, and so on. On any given day, you’re likely to come across many out-of-state drivers on the roads, all from different places.
What happens when you get into a car accident caused by a driver who’s not from your resident state or the state where the incident takes place? From whom do you pursue compensation for resulting damages, and what legal issues are you likely to encounter on the way?
A car accident with an out-of-state driver presents a different set of problems than with a driver from your state.
First, you and the driver are governed by two different jurisdictions, which means that some parts of car accident laws might differ. In this case, the law from the state where the accident happens applies when determining fault and recovery of damages.
Another issue that may arise is the question of insurance policy limits and minimums. Some states have lower minimum coverage than others. This can become an issue during the insurance claim process, especially when your damages are severe and your compensation is likely to be high. If the defendant’s insurance company operates in both states in question, then the insurer might have to adhere to your state’s coverage minimums.
Speaking with a car accident lawyer when the accident occurs can help you understand your rights, making it less overwhelming to deal with your case.
Suing an out-of-state driver is possible but it’s not always the only legal option available after such an accident.
If you live in a no-fault insurance state, then you’ll seek compensation with your insurer first, unless your injuries are serious or your total damages surpass the established policy minimums.
When you file a lawsuit against an out-of-state driver, the court has to have the authority to exercise personal jurisdiction over them and mandate them to appear for the case. If the driver at fault is uninsured or underinsured, you can sue them directly in court to receive compensation from their assets. However, if the out-of-state driver has insufficient or no collectible assets, then you might have to claim the damages from your uninsured motorist policy.
Another legal option that an attorney can explore after a car accident with an out-of-state driver is to determine if there were other liable third parties. This might include car part manufacturers, a government agency that’s responsible for road safety and maintenance, or a motorcyclist, among others.
Getting into a car accident is complicated enough, let alone with an out-of-state driver. The different laws and other legal issues that you need to navigate while pursuing compensation can be frustrating for an accident victim. Let a car accident lawyer who has handled numerous such types of cases help you seek justice.
Call Craig Swapp & Associates at 1-800-404-9000 or send a message through the contact form below to get started with a free case review.