If you have been involved in an auto accident in a foreign state, you should prepare yourself for the accident claim because some of its aspects may be different from what you are used to. Here are some of the things you should know when dealing with an out-of-state car accident.
Your Auto Insurance Applies
One of the first things you should know is that your auto insurance coverage applies irrespective of the state you were driving in. This means that you should handle the accident just like any other by not admitting liability, waiting for the police to arrive, and informing your auto insurance company about it as soon as possible.
You May Have To File an Out-of-State Lawsuit
Most car insurance claims are settled before reaching the lawsuit stage. If you are lucky, yours will take the same route, too. However, some claims don't settle and necessitate lawsuit filings, and you should be prepared for such an eventuality. If it comes to that, note that you may have to file a lawsuit where the accident occurred or in the defendant's home state; it's unlikely that you will file it in your home jurisdiction. The auto accident laws of the state in which the accident occurs will determine where you have to file your lawsuit.
Be Wary of the Statute of Limitations
Another thing you should know is that the laws that will be applicable to your auto accident case are the laws of the state in which the accident occurred. Therefore, you would do well to acquaint yourself with these laws fast. In particular, you should know the statue of limitations for car accidents in that state so that your time doesn't run out because you are using your home state's laws.
It's Best to Use Local Attorneys
Lastly, it's best to use a local (local here means the state where the accident occurred) auto accident lawyer, like Cok Kinzler PLLP, to help you with the claim or file the lawsuit, if it comes to that. There are several advantages to this approach rather than hiring a lawyer from your home state. For one, the local lawyer is already familiar with the laws and regulations of the state. Secondly, the local lawyer knows the right people to use (such as expert witnesses or private investigators) to build up the defense. Not only that, but a local lawyer also understand case precedents or judgment tendencies in the state better than foreign lawyers.