What To Do If You’re Injured In An Out Of State Accident

What To Do If You’re Injured In An Out Of State Accident
Calendar icon November 12, 2023

A car accident is a stressful and disorienting experience, especially when away from home. In an out of state accident, your claim could be affected by a state’s insurance laws which can make filing a claim a confusing ordeal. 

If you’ve been involved in a car accident outside of your home state, especially if you’ve sustained any injuries, be sure to take the following steps. 

Take Action Immediately After the Accident

Immediately after any accident, whether in your home state or out of state, you should take the following actions:

  • Check for Injuries: If you’re able to, pull over to safety and check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Prioritize seeking medical attention, even if injuries appear minor.
  • Call 911: Call the police to report the accident and ensure prompt medical assistance. It’s important (and the law in some states) to have responding officers file a police report, providing an official record of the incident.
  • Document the Scene: Capture the details of the accident scene by taking photos and videos. Document damages to vehicles, road conditions, weather, and any visible injuries. This visual evidence can be invaluable during insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  •  Exchange Information And Get Witness Information: Obtain the other driver’s insurance details, contact information, and license plate number. Additionally, collect names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
  •  Seek Medical Attention: Even if injuries seem minor, it’s still important to seek medical attention. Delayed symptoms from seemingly harmless injuries can have significant lasting impact, and having medical records detailing your injuries will be crucial for any future claims.

Most importantly, do not apologize or say anything that could be construed as an admission of fault even if you feel like you may have been partially responsible for the accident. 

Determine Which State’s Laws Apply To Your Claims

Understanding the legal framework governing your accident is crucial for navigating the claims process. In almost all cases, the laws of the state where the accident occurred will dictate the damages that can be awarded.

An attorney is in the best position to ensure compliance with any relevant laws.  To determine the applicable laws, you or your attorney should:

 Research State Laws

Familiarize yourself with the specific insurance and liability laws of the state where the accident took place. A basic understanding of the state’s insurance laws can help provide guidance when filing a claim and seeking compensation for any damages.

Consult Legal Resources

Utilize online legal resources on reporting requirements and nuances of the state’s laws. An attorney can provide you with valuable guidance and informed insight specific to the jurisdiction where your accident occurred. 

File A Claim With The Insurance Company

Filing an insurance claim is a crucial step in the aftermath of an out-of-state car accident. Many auto insurance policies remain valid throughout the United States and Canada, but you may run into some difficulties if you were traveling in Mexico. Regardless, notifying your insurance company of the incident is important.

 Notify Your Insurance Company

Regardless of fault, inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide comprehensive details about the incident, including the location and circumstances. If you have a copy of the police report, be sure to send it to your carrier as well. 

Coverage Considerations

When dealing with out-of-state accidents, keep in mind:

  • Consistent Coverage: Your insurance policy coverage limits typically will not decrease to meet a state’s minimum requirements lower than your home state.
  • Upward Adjustment to State Limits: Your coverage generally will adjust to meet the minimum requirements of the state where the accident occurred.

Understand The Statute of Limitations In The State Where The Accident Happened

The statute of limitations sets the deadline for filing a claim to receive compensation for damages. Each state has its own set of statutes, and understanding these deadlines is crucial for protecting your rights.

 Research State-Specific Deadlines

Investigate and be aware of the statute of limitations in the state where the accident occurred. Different states have varying deadlines for filing personal injury claims, and missing these deadlines could jeopardize your ability to seek compensation.  An attorney can assist in verifying the applicable statute of limitations.

Notice of Claim for Accidents Involving Municipal Property or Employees

If the accident involves a municipality, such as city property, vehicles, or employees, there might be a tighter deadline for filing a “notice of claim.” Research and adhere to these specific requirements to preserve your right to compensation.  Enlisting the help of an attorney can help you avoid failing to adhere to these strict notice requirements.

Seek The Guidance Of A Legal Professional

Out-of-state car accidents can be legally complex, especially when dealing with unfamiliar laws regarding personal injuries. Seeking the guidance of a legal professional specializing in injury law can make a significant difference.

Importance of Legal Counsel

A personal injury lawyer can provide essential support by:

  • Navigating Legal Complexities: Assist in navigating the legal intricacies of the state’s laws governing personal injury claims.
  • Building a Strong Case: Help build a robust case by gathering evidence, assessing liability, and negotiating with insurance companies.
  • Statute of Limitations Compliance: Ensure compliance with the state’s statute of limitations and any specific requirements for filing a claim.

Injured In A Car Crash? Call Cellino

Being involved in an out-of-state car accident is undoubtedly challenging, but taking the right steps immediately after the incident and throughout the claims process can make a significant difference. By seeking legal guidance, understanding the applicable laws, filing an insurance claim promptly, and adhering to the statute of limitations and any notice requirement, you can protect your rights and work towards obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

If you have been injured in a car crash, we’re here to help. Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and skills to help guide you through the complicated process of filing an out-of-state personal injury claim. If you have been injured in a car accident in New York or Connecticut, don’t wait to contact us. For a free consultation with an attorney, call us at 888-888-8888 or fill out an online form here

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



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