No one wants to be in a car accident, but it can be even more stressful if it happens out of state in an unfamiliar place. This article will help you navigate the situation and alleviate that stress. It will walk you through the process as you react immediately after the accident and in the days following it.
Table of Contents
Call the Police
The most important thing to do is to call the police immediately. Calling the police is crucial for safety reasons so that all parties can get medical help if necessary. It’s also an important step for legal reasons. As long as you are in the United States, you can dial 911. This is the same in most of North America. If you’re driving elsewhere, you should look up emergency numbers ahead of time, just in case. Remember that some locations have different emergency numbers for police, ambulance, and fire services.
Calling the authorities is one area where you may have complications because you are from out of state. You may not know exactly where you are. You can look for local street signs or ask the other party for the location. If you have a smartphone, you can use its location data.
Remember the Basics
There are key things you should always do after a car accident, regardless of the state. Calm down to the best of your ability, and don’t panic. Instead, remember that you need to take pictures of the scene. These images will include damage done to your car and their car as well as injuries you or your passengers may have. Then, get the names and numbers of any witnesses. Lastly, exchange insurance information, and never admit fault.
Make an Insurance Claim
Most people won’t be in a situation where a lawsuit is needed. These people will probably only need to report an insurance claim. Filing an insurance claim is a crucial step, even if car accident lawyers are involved. Most auto insurance policies will cover all states within the United States and even other U.S. territories. That means you would still have coverage in case of an out-of-state accident. You will probably even be able to get repairs done at an out-of-state shop and have them covered by your insurance agency just as if the accident took place in the state.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you or a loved one got injured in an out-of-state car accident, you probably want a car accident lawyer. These lawyers can help you file a lawsuit for compensation for medical bills and damage to your vehicle.
Make sure that you hire a lawyer who operates in the state where the accident happened. Most lawyers are only licensed to practice in one state. If their town happens to be close to a state border, they may get themselves licensed in both states. However, you likely can’t choose someone from your own state to handle the case. The laws and regulations may be slightly different from your own state’s and you need someone familiar with the applicable laws.
The statute of limitations will probably be a different time frame than that of your state, so you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Make sure you do your research on the laws and practices of the state the car accident was in.
Car accidents will always be frightening experiences. However, you can help make the aftermath less stressful by following these tips if you are in an accident in a different state. Following these four steps will help you minimize the aggravation and complications that can arise from an out-of-state car accident. Remember to call the police immediately for medical services and keep a cool head.