Road trips are a popular way to go on vacation. Unfortunately, there’s always the possibility of getting in an accident while driving around the country. In many cases, filing a claim with your car insurance company follows the same procedure, no matter where the collision occurs. However, this isn’t always the case. If the claim is complex, or you were injured in the crash, you may need help from a car accident attorney.
This is where it gets complicated. Since different states have different laws, you need an attorney to represent you both in your home state and in the state where the accident occurred. Don’t get overwhelmed—simply follow this guide to help you handle an out-of-state car accident.
What to Do Immediately After the Crash
Follow the same steps you would if the accident had occurred in your home state:
- Remain on the scene.
- Move the accident off the road, if possible.
- Call the police.
- Exchange information with the other driver.
- Take pictures to document the scene.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Seek medical attention at the nearest hospital, if necessary.
Settling an Out-of-State Car Accident
In most cases, it’s easy to settle a car accident insurance claim, even if the crash takes place out of state. Simply work with your insurance company to receive the settlement you’re entitled to. Keep in mind that your compensation will depend on your coverage, which driver was at fault, and other factors.
Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
Sometimes, settling a claim isn’t so straightforward. There may be disputes between drivers, litigation in drunk driving cases, or costly medical bills resulting in a significant claim amount. If for whatever reason, you can’t agree on a settlement after your out-of-state car accident, it may be necessary to hire a car accident lawyer for help.
- If the car accident was in a neighboring state, there’s a good chance you can find an attorney licensed to practice in both places. This makes the process easy since you only need to work with one local lawyer.
- If the car accident was in a faraway state, you have two options. First, you can hire a lawyer licensed to practice in the state where the accident occurred. Second, you can take advantage of a pro hac vice arrangement, which allows a lawyer from your home state to partner with a lawyer in the state where the accident took place. This covers all your bases, ensuring the fastest, most affordable settlement possible.
Regardless of where the collision occurred, speaking with a local car accident attorney is often the best place to start. You can either get help with your case right away or receive advice about where to turn next.
Law Firm of Kevin Paul Childers is a car accident attorney licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and federal courts. Contact us for help getting your out-of-state car accident claim started today.