Your Legal Rights at Work

How Can You Sue For An Accident In Another State?

by Lewis Hamilton

If you get involved in a car accident when you're driving in another state, you generally have the same rights as if you were driving close to home. However, there are some things you should be aware of.

Your Insurance May Adjust

While your insurance will generally follow you anywhere within the United States, your policy may automatically adjust to the laws of the state you're driving in. This usually works out in your favor.

For example, if the other state has a higher minimum insurance limit requirement than your home state, you may get to take advantage of that situation. The main thing that could go against you is if your state doesn't have no-fault laws and the other state does. No-fault means you can't sue unless your damages are above a certain amount. You can't sue for the amount up to the limit even if you don't have your own insurance.

Your Lawsuit Will Follow the Other State's Laws

The law that applies to an accident claim is the law of the state where it occurred. In most situations, the law is the same in every state. Running a red light virtually always means paying the driver who had the green light.

The main differences between states are usual procedural technicalities and how to calculate how much you will win. For example, one state might require a higher level of medical proof of ongoing injuries than another. Because of this, you'll want a car accident lawyer experienced in the state your accident happened.

The Law That Applies to Your Insurance Contract May Vary

In addition to suing the other driver, you may end up in a dispute with your insurance company over what they're supposed to pay. This can get a little more complicated since you're suing over the contract, not the accident. That means that your home state's laws will usually apply, but if you have a dispute over the facts of the accident itself, that part may follow the other state's laws.

If your accident happened in a neighboring state, your best course of action is to try to find an attorney who works in both states. If not, you'll want to talk to one attorney from each state to figure out who you're going to need to sue to recover for your accident injuries and where to file that lawsuit.

To learn more about how to handle a car accident lawsuit for an accident that happened in another state, contact a local law office. A car accident lawyer can help you sort out the situation.