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What To Do if You Are in an Out-of-State Car Accident

What To Do if You Are in an Out-of-State Car Accident

Shapiro Law Team November 7, 2022 Car Accidents

Whether you’re on a road trip, a business trip, or passing through another state, an out-of-state car accident can be a nightmare. No matter where they happen, a car accident may leave you or passengers harmed and your car damaged. But when it happens in unfamiliar territory, it may make it even more difficult to know what to do to get fairly compensated.

What’s an Out-of-State Car Accident?

Just as the term implies, an out-of-state car accident is a collision between one or more vehicles that occurs outside of the state you live in. An easier way of thinking about it is to imagine your car is struck by one or more cars while in another state.

What Should You Do After an Out-of-State Car Accident?

The procedure for reporting an accident doesn’t change whether you’re near home or in another state. You should take the following steps immediately following a car accident:

  • Call 911; you’ll need a police report for insurance claims
  • Seek medical attention (if necessary)
  • Get pictures of the accident (damages to both vehicles, not just your own)
  • Gather names of any witnesses
  • Never admit fault

Once you accomplish the above, call Shapiro Law Team to find out if you have a case. We can also answer other questions you may have related to recovering compensation for damages or injuries.

Which State Laws Do I Follow?

This is the part that gets confusing for many drivers. Let us clarify any misunderstandings.

Some states are no-fault states, meaning a driver’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage pays for their injuries regardless of who is at fault. So if you’re injured in an out-of-state car accident that is a no-fault state, you’re still covered.

However, if this same scenario were to happen in a state that does not use no-fault laws (also known as a tort state), the at-fault driver would be responsible for damages. Cases may vary, but in general, the state where the accident occurred will have governing laws for:

  • Minimum liability coverage
  • Who is responsible for damages/injuries
  • Statute of limitations

What To Do if You Are in an Out-of-State Car Accident


Does My Auto Insurance Apply Out of State?

Yes, regardless of the state your accident occurred in, your auto insurance policy will still be valid. However, your coverage limits will meet that state’s requirements. So if you live in Arizona but get in an accident in Nevada, your policy will apply to Nevada’s coverage limits.

Can I Pursue Compensation From Out of State? Where Do You Sue?

You can and should pursue full compensation when in an out-of-state car accident. The damages to your car and any medical bills and injuries will not always be covered by your insurance, so you may need to go to court to get what you deserve. Here are two ways you can go about it.

1. Suing the At-Fault Driver of a Car Accident on Their Home Court

This route may require you to be physically present for court dates, and hire a lawyer who is licensed in that state.

2. Taking a Car Crash to Federal Court

Bringing your case to federal court means both you and the other driver must be from different states, and there must have been at least $75,000 in damages or personal injury claims.

Get Help for Your Out-of-State Car Accident Today

If you were recently in an out-of-state car accident and can’t agree on a settlement or think you’re not getting fairly compensated, it’s time to lawyer up. Trust the legal advice and representation from Shapiro Law Team. Our personal injury law firm is ready to step in and fight for your right to fair compensation. We’ve won our clients millions of dollars—see what we can do for your case.



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