It is bad enough to get in a car accident in your hometown, and it’s worse when it occurs out of state because you’re unaware of the local laws and not sure if your insurance will cover you. You need to claim your injuries and damages either way, since the process is the same as it would be in your state.
But you might need to hire a car accident lawyer to help you with the process. So, if you want to hire one, you’ll need to search online for the best car accident lawyers available. It would be best to look for an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you recover your losses and reduce the heavy paperwork involved in car insurance claims.
What You Should Do When Involved in an Out-of-State Accident
Here is what you should do in case you’re involved in a car accident out of state:
1. Ensure You and Everyone Else Is Safe
First, you should confirm if you’re hurt, if anybody is hurt, how bad you or the other person is hurt and if you can move them. If nobody is hurt, you should move your car to a safer place to avoid oncoming traffic. If you or other people are injured, then you should immediately call 911.
If your car is slightly damaged, then move it beside the road if it can still move. If it can’t move, shift into parking mode and put on the hazard lights if they still work to warn the other drivers on the road. It would help if you also put flares and cones around the scene of the accident.
2. Inform the Police or Highway Patrol
Once you’ve made sure you’re safe, call the police immediately. Often, when there’s an accident, cars are left in unsafe positions, and you need a police officer to access and take charge of the situation. The law also requires the accident to be documented by the police.
When the police officer asks questions, only answer what you’re sure about, and your side of the story. It’s important to do that since filing a claim with your insurance company requires them to refer to your statement.
3. Take Pictures and Videos of the Accident
Always document your damages. Although it’s not possible to use pictures as evidence nowadays, you should use your phone to record the necessary information. You should record the registration of all vehicles involved, the identification number of the people involved, the damages of the cars, and the injuries sustained.
This information helps the car accident lawyer assess your property claim later, and the personal injury lawyer to make a case for your medical claim benefits. The pictures also come in handy when insurance companies are conducting private investigations before honoring a claim.
4.Exchange Information with the Other Driver
Once everyone is safe, exchange your information:
- Names and contacts of the drivers
- Cars’ model year, make, and color
- Driver’s license and plate numbers
- Policy numbers and insurance companies
This information is required to process the out-of-state insurance claim.
5. Ask for Roadside Assistance
You should ask a local towing company or a nearby repair shop to help tow your car if it’s damaged. When this happens, you should ask your insurance agent to cover the cost of towing your car if your policy includes that. Tow your car from the road to minimize the traffic you’ll have caused.
No matter where you live, your insurance policy covers you for accidents in every state in the U.S. If your coverage limits in your state are lower than those in the state where the accident happened, the limit will increase to meet the requirements of the other state.
If the other states’ policy has lower limits, it will provide complete coverage of your policy even if it exceeds the minimum limit.