Car Accident on street

What to Do If You Are in a Car Accident in Another State

Oleen Law Firm April 10, 2023

Going through a car accident is a tough situation. If it happens out of state, it can become even more complicated. Different states have different laws regarding car accidents, and as an out-of-state driver, you may not be familiar with the legal requirements of the state where the accident occurred. 

If you were involved in a car accident in another state, our attorneys at Oleen Law Firm can guide you through some essential steps that you should take if you ever find yourself in such an unfortunate situation. From our office in Manhattan, Kansas, we also represent out-of-state drivers in Junction City.  

Things to Do After an Out-of-State Car Accident 

If you have been involved in an out-of-state car accident, there are essential steps you should take immediately after the accident:  

  1. First, ensure that everyone involved in the accident, including yourself, is safe. Call for medical assistance if necessary.  

  1. Contact a police officer to do an investigation. 

  1. Exchange contact, insurance, and driver’s license information with the other driver(s).  

  1. Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage and the surrounding environment.  

  1. Get the names and contact information of eyewitnesses and obtain a copy of the police report. 

After an out-of-state car accident, it is imperative that you follow the laws of the state where the crash happened. Each state has its own traffic laws and rules related to car accidents. For example, in some states, it’s mandatory to report the accident to law enforcement authorities, while in others, it’s not necessary. So, make sure you do your research and consult an attorney to understand your requirements. 

In some states (like Kansas), insurance companies follow the “no-fault” system, while others follow the “at-fault” system. In a no-fault state, both parties involved in the crash can claim compensation from their insurance company, regardless of who was responsible for the accident. In comparison, in an at-fault state, the party responsible for the accident is liable to pay for the damages.  

For example: If you are in an accident in Kansas, which is a no-fault state, your insurance will cover your damages regardless of who caused the accident. However, if you are in an accident in Missouri, which is an at-fault state, the party responsible for the accident will be responsible for paying for the damages. It’s critical to know the legal system in the state where the accident happened to avoid any legal issues later.  

Where Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit? 

Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be a complex process, and one of the factors to consider when determining the state to file is residency. You can file a lawsuit in the state where the defendant resides or the state where the accident occurred. 

If you decide to file in the state where the defendant resides, you’ll have to comply with the laws and regulations of that state. On the other hand, if you file in the state where the accident occurred, you’ll have to comply with that state’s laws and regulations. It’s essential to consult with experienced personal injury attorneys who can advise you on the best option for your case. 

Will My Auto Insurance Cover Me? 

Auto insurance policies vary from one state to another, but they generally extend beyond state lines. However, the coverage limits and requirements may differ depending on the state where the accident occurred. For example, if you have a minimum liability insurance policy in your home state, it may not be enough to cover the damages in another state. Before traveling, check your insurance policy to understand your coverage limits and requirements for out-of-state coverage. 

Dedicated Legal Representation  

Consulting with an attorney is always advisable, especially if you have been in a car accident in another state. Attorneys can help you navigate through the complex legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. They can advise you on your legal options and help you understand your responsibilities after an out-of-state crash. Contact Oleen Law Firm to get legal guidance from our attorneys in Manhattan, Kansas. Set up your free consultation today.