What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident Out Of State

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly seven million car accidents in the United States in 2019.  Car accidents occur every day, but being involved in a car accident out of state can be particularly stressful and frightening.  If you are in Minnesota or Wisconsin and are the victim of a car accident, consider visiting with a knowledgeable, compassionate lawyer at Tyroler Injury Law at (651) 259-1113 to learn how we may be able to help you seek the compensation you deserve.

The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention

Victims of car accidents should seek medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.  There are two important reasons for doing so.

  • Timely identification and treatment of injuries. Following any car accident, victims should receive immediate medical attention to ensure that their injuries are identified and treated.  The shock and adrenaline caused by the accident can often mask symptoms of serious injuries.  It is important to undergo evaluation by a medical professional promptly to ensure that serious or life-threatening injuries receive proper care.  If you were involved in an accident and have not already done so, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible for your own health.
  • Establish a foundation for your personal injury case. Insurance companies may try to avoid making payments to car accident victims.  If you do not have evidence to establish that you sought medical care or documentation of your injuries following a car accident out of state, the insurance company or negligent party may make an argument that your injuries were caused by a pre-existing medical condition, rather than a result of the car accident.

What To Do Immediately Following A Car Accident Out Of State

There are several other steps for victims of a car accident out of state to take following an accident.  In addition to seeking immediate medical care, victims may want to do the following:

  • Contact local law enforcement
  • Exchange insurance and contact information with other parties involved in the accident
  • Document the scene of the accident by taking pictures and video
  • Contact your insurance company
  • Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Do not admit fault for the accident

Victims may also want to consider speaking with a lawyer for assistance with navigating the legal and insurance aspects of their case.  If you are in Wisconsin or Minnesota, consider speaking with a knowledgeable lawyer at Tyroler Injury Law to understand how we may be able to help you with your case.

Insurance Claims for A Car Accident Out Of State

Many victims involved in a car accident out of state are concerned about whether their insurance policy will cover the accident.  The good news is that most insurance policies cover accidents throughout the United States, so most drivers are covered in the event of a car accident out of state.  If the car is not drivable after the accident, the insurance company may be able to assist with finding a local repair shop and arranging for a rental car.

State laws can play a role in how insurance companies compensate victims for their injuries and property damage.  Insurance requirements and rules vary from state to state and are based on either a no-fault system or a tort system.

  • No-fault states require insurance policies to cover the insured party’s medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses, regardless of who is responsible for causing the accident. This type of coverage is also referred to as personal injury protection, or PIP.  Minnesota is a no-fault state.
  • Tort states, also called “at-fault” states, require the negligent party’s insurance to cover the other driver’s expenses and losses. Wisconsin is a tort state.

Seeking Compensation For A Car Accident Out Of State

Car accidents are frightening and disruptive to victims’ lives, and victims deserve fair and just compensation under the law for their injuries and losses.  Even if victims do not live in the state where the accident occurred, they can still seek compensation.

Types Of Possible Compensation for Victims Of Car Accidents

Victims of accidents may be entitled to more compensation than they think.  Here are some common types of compensation for car accidents:

  • Medical bills for treatment as a result of the accident
  • Property damage caused by the accident
  • Lost wages due to time away from work because of accident-related injuries
  • Loss of future wages if the victim is disabled or killed as a result of the accident
  • Noneconomic damages for pain and suffering

Victims may be able to seek compensation from an insurance company, or by filing a personal injury claim in court.

Legal Issues Affecting Out-Of-State Accidents

There are many legal complexities surrounding a car accident out of state.  In addition to determining which driver’s insurance company is responsible for a victim’s expenses and losses, victims must also know where to take legal action following the accident.  Depending on the circumstances, victims pursuing a personal injury claim may need to file suit in the state where the accident occurred, the state where the negligent party lives, or even in federal court.

Additionally, victims have limited time to file a personal injury claim.  Time limits are set by a statute of limitation, and they vary by state.  Victims should be aware of the statute of limitations in the state which has jurisdiction over their personal injury claim.

How A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You

Victims involved in a car accident out of state may feel overwhelmed and confused by the legal issues surrounding their case, and dealing with the legal and financial aftermath of a car accident is challenging to do alone.  A personal injury attorney can help victims navigate negotiations with insurance companies, interview witnesses, sort out jurisdictional issues resulting from a car accident out of state, and seek fair and just compensation for their injuries and losses under the law.  If you are in Wisconsin or Minnesota and are the victim of a car accident, consider visiting with a knowledgeable, compassionate attorney at Tyroler Injury Law at (651) 259-1113 to understand how we may be able to help you seek compensation for your injuries and losses.

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