Can I Sue an Out-of-State Driver for a Car Accident?
One moment, you’re enjoying a drive; and the next, you’ve been struck by another driver. To make matters more complicated, you notice that their license plate is from another state. Now, you might be wondering, “Can I sue an out-of-state driver for a car accident?”
Fortunately, you do have the option to bring a civil lawsuit against an out-of-state driver, but it can be difficult. Make sure you know what to expect before you file, and enlist the help of a lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates to assist you in preparing your personal injury claim.
Jurisdiction in Out-of-State Driver Claims
When two drivers from the same state are involved in an auto accident, the courts of that state are typically, by default, the ones who handle the case because they have jurisdiction.
Because both drivers are residents of that state in these cases, it’s a matter of handling the accident in small claims court. When the drivers are from two different states, however, the jurisdiction matter becomes more complicated.
Suing across state lines can be difficult because the other driver must have their rights respected. This means that, as a defendant, they should be treated fairly, and being sued in a different state can make it difficult to represent themselves. For example, if they live several hours away from your state, it might be difficult or impossible for them to return for the trial.
If they fight back, they could show that they can’t fairly be tried in your state, making it more difficult to sue. Alternatively, you might be able to file a federal claim, or you’ll need to prove that they can be fairly sued in the state. An experienced attorney can help you with jurisdiction issues.
How Can I Sue in My State?
Proving that they have some connection inside the state will be key to getting your lawsuit filed in your state. Showing that they have some contact with the state, beyond a single visit, can strengthen your claim and compel the courts to hear the case in your state. It can take time to determine this, and your time is limited, so act now to find evidence of that contact.
This contact must show that they’re tied to that state beyond a single vacation. Multiple and frequent visits, for example, indicate that they often travel to the state for work or pleasure, so it wouldn’t be an unnecessary hardship to be present for the trial. Other connections, such as business ties or family living in the state, can also link the defendant in a way that can help you.
A Lawyer Can Help You File
A car crash is already painful, scary, and complex. When the driver who caused the collision lives in another state, it can feel impossible to secure the compensation you need for a full recovery. Fortunately, a lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates can help you through the process.
Suing an out-of-state driver can be difficult, but it certainly isn’t impossible. You’ll have options to sue, and with the right help, you can get your claim started immediately. Enlisting the help of an experienced and highly trained lawyer can ensure the claims process goes smoothly, beginning with a free consultation.
If you’re facing an out-of-state driver accident, you’ll need the right attorney on your side to answer your questions and be with you every step of the way. Seek out the help you need by calling 1-800-404-9000 or by filling out the online form below.