What You Need to Know About Being In A Car Accident Out Of State
Being involved in a car accident in another state can be scary. When traveling outside of your state, speed limits, highways, and road signs are different. Other drivers traveling through might be shuffling their attention between the road, GPS, and other passengers. Circumstances like these can raise the likelihood of an accident. So what happens if you are in a crash in another state with different laws? Let’s dive into it.
Jurisdiction in Out Of State Car Accidents
The first thing to know about a car accident in another state is who will have jurisdiction over your claim. Jurisdiction refers to which court has the legal right to make decisions and judgments. Suppose you’re involved in an out of state car accident. In that case, you’ll need to know the two types of jurisdiction: personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction.
- Personal jurisdiction refers to the state where the defendant lives.
- Subject matter jurisdiction is the jurisdiction of a court based on the lawsuit’s subject matter or nature.
However, diversity jurisdiction can come into play if over $75,000 is at stake, both drivers live in different states, or if federal laws or constitutional issues are involved. This means that your case could be moved to federal court. Federal court cases can be extremely expensive, lengthy, and time-consuming.
Will My Car Insurance Policy Cover Out of State Accident?
Before you begin to panic: no matter where your accident took place, if your claim falls within the guidelines of your policy, you are most likely covered by insurance. Most car insurance policies cover all 50 states. In fact, some policies even cover other U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico plus Canadian provinces.
Insurance policy regulations are similar in most states, as companies know that drivers may eventually cross state lines. However, insurance liability minimums vary by state. In some situations, drivers may be stuck trying to match up their out-of-state car insurance with a different set of local laws. How an insurance claim plays out depends very much on individual circumstances.
Filing an Injury Lawsuit
If you’ve been in an out-of-state accident that resulted in severe injuries to yourself or a loved one, you are entitled to compensation for medical bills, damage to your vehicle, and any extra travel expenses incurred.
It might be inconvenient to file your injury claim in another state. However, unfortunately, in almost all cases, you follow the state’s laws where the car accident happened. You’ll also be subject to procedural laws of where the accident occurred, including the statute of limitations.
Nevertheless, out-of-state accident cases are rarely cut and dry. Certain conditions can change which laws apply, which can alter the way your claim is handled. This is why it’s crucial to talk to a car accident attorney as quickly as possible after a collision.
Why You Need A Lawyer After An Out of State Car Accident
The aftermath of any car accident can be difficult to manage. However, a crash occurring when you are out of state brings additional problems.
Jurisdiction over a case is significant. Since the collision happened in another jurisdiction, you must comply with the state’s laws in which the accident took place. That includes where you must file your claim. Unfortunately, the state laws in which the accident happened may be more favorable than your state in terms of the fault for an accident.
An attorney can attempt to argue for jurisdiction in the state that would be most favorable to you and fight to get you the best outcomes under the state’s laws that has jurisdiction over your case. If you were injured in an out-of-state accident, you’d benefit from hiring a lawyer from the state where the accident occurred, as they’ll have the knowledge of laws and license to practice in that state.
Get Answers. Get Results.
If you or a loved one were injured by a negligent driver while visiting Missouri or Kansas, or have questions regarding out of state car accidents, contact the attorneys at Goss Law Firm.
Our attorneys understand the severe physical, emotional, and financial strain serious accidents can cause. But remember, the clock is ticking. There are time limits to file an out of state accident claim, and evidence disappears quickly. Contact our office at 816-888-5000 to schedule your free, no-risk legal consultation.