Experiencing a car accident will always be stress-inducing, all the more so when it happens in another state. It can be difficult to know what to do next when you are far away from home, and you might not know for sure if your out-of-state insurance will even cover your damages.
There were 1,593,390 injury-inducing crashes in the U.S. in 2020 alone, with many of them certainly involving drivers with out-of-state insurance. At Sargon Law Group, we proudly help injured drivers understand their options after a car accident with out-of-state insurance and strive to secure the maximum amount of compensation for their damages.
What Should You Do If You Get in a Car Accident With Out-of-State Insurance?
The steps you should follow immediately after an accident are the same regardless of whether it happens in your state or not. Your first priority is always safety above all else. While it is important to begin the claims process as soon as possible, especially when out-of-state laws might complicate the process, this can wait until you confirm your personal well-being.
The first steps you should take after any accident include:
- Calling the police
- Seeking immediate medical attention
- Photographing the scene when it is safe to do so
- Exchange information with the other driver as well as any witnesses
- Get the name and badge number of the police officer on the scene
After seeing to your own safety and documenting the scene of the accident, the next step is to notify your insurance company. Even if you have a car accident with out-of-state insurance, your provider still needs to know about the crash. If you are unsure of what information to share with your insurance company in your unique situation, your attorney can provide guidance.
What Are Your Rights as an Out-of-State Driver?
While you certainly have rights to legal recourse after an accident, especially if another driver is at fault, it might not be clear if the laws of your home state will apply to the situation or if the laws of the current state take precedence. There is also the question of how your rights provided by your auto insurance policy might change.
Financial experts explain that, in general, your car insurance policy will cover you no matter which state you are in when an accident occurs. In addition to pursuing compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you also have the right to file a lawsuit against them. If you choose to do this, you can either file in the state where the accident occurred or in the state where the at-fault driver resides if they are also an out-of-state driver.
What Compensation Can You Receive When You Get Into an Accident in Another State?
If you get into a car accident with out-of-state insurance, the full coverage of your auto insurance policy applies. Your policy’s coverage limits will not decrease even if the minimum coverage limits are lower in the state where an accident occurs compared to your home state. This means you have the right to claim the full amount of compensation for your damages as stated in your policy regardless of where an accident occurs. In fact, your policy’s coverage limits will actually rise to meet the minimum coverage limits in the state where an accident happens if they are higher than that of your home state.
One factor to be aware of in a car accident with out-of-state insurance, however, is that a state’s negligence laws may affect the amount of compensation you can recover. If you have an accident in Arizona as an out-of-state driver, for example, the state’s comparative negligence laws will apply. Drivers who sustain personal injury or property damage in an Arizona accident can recover compensation in proportion to their degree of fault. Even if an individual bears 75% of the fault, they can still recover up to 25% of the total compensation owed to them.
Is It Better To File a Claim or a Lawsuit?
Many motorists who sustain damage in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver will choose to secure the financial compensation they need through an insurance claim, either with their own insurance provider or that of the at-fault driver.
Most people in these situations will work with a personal injury attorney to negotiate a favorable settlement with the insurance company. However, there are situations when filing a lawsuit might be the only way to achieve a satisfactory outcome. This can especially be the case when there are various complicating factors, such as if you experience a car accident with out-of-state insurance.
Determining whether to settle your insurance claim or file a lawsuit depends on the extent of your injuries and damages. You deserve compensation that fully covers your medical bills, repair costs and other expenses. If the insurance company is offering a lowball settlement, or if out-of-state insurance requirements and coverage limits are making it difficult to reach a favorable settlement, then taking the matter to court may be necessary.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Your Case?
An insurance company might try to use the complexity of an out-of-state accident case to twist the terms of your policy or take advantage of you during a confusing time. You have enough to worry about after a car accident with out-of-state insurance, like making sure you make it back to your home state safely and getting all the rest you need to recover from your injuries. Your personal injury attorney can handle the legal burdens of your case for you and level the playing field against insurance adjusters during negotiations.
The team at Sargon Law Group can help with your case by:
- Investigating the cause of your accident
- Submitting paperwork to insurance companies in other states
- Negotiating with insurance adjusters and other lawyers
- Representing you in court if necessary.
In the majority of situations, you need an attorney licensed in the state where the accident happened. An Arizona car accident attorney from Sargon Law Group can provide legal guidance if you get into a car accident in or around Maricopa County, including cities such as Phoenix, Glendale or Mesa.
We Can Help If You Have a Car Accident With Out-of-State Insurance
When you are traveling across state lines, either for business or pleasure, having a car accident with out-of-state insurance can leave you feeling stranded. Our team at Sargon Law Group makes sure you never feel alone when navigating your personal injury case. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.