What to Do if You’re in a Catastrophic Auto Accident Out of State
Learn More From the Car Accident Lawyers at Pope & Howard, P.C., in Atlanta
Being involved in an auto accident out of state while you’re in unfamiliar territory can be overwhelming and scary, especially if you were involved in an accident that resulted in horrific injuries or extreme damage to your vehicle.
Perhaps you were on vacation, visiting a relative, or away for a business trip when the accident occurred. You may have questions about how insurance will work and how you will receive compensation for your injuries.
The first step to dealing with a car accident is to have a professional, experienced auto accident attorney like those at Pope & Howard, P.C., in Atlanta, Georgia, on your side. Experienced lawyers like Marc Howard and Geoff Pope will help guide you through the entire process, putting your mind at ease through this stressful situation.
Aside from finding a reputable accident attorney, here are some other steps to take if you’re in a major car accident while out of the state:
Steps to Take If You’re in an Out of State Auto Accident
Whether you are minutes away from your home or across the country, follow these important steps following a car accident:
• Call the police (911) as soon as possible.
• Seek medical attention; you can ask the police officers who respond to the wreck to call an ambulance, or tell the 911 operator you need medical assistance.
• Take pictures of the damage to your car, and any injuries you sustained as a result of the wreck.
• Get names and contact information for any witnesses who saw the crash and can give a detailed account to police officers. Make sure they wait for the police to arrive so they can give a statement.
• Notify your insurance company or contact a spouse/partner to make the call for you.
These steps are critical for building your case. Additionally, you’ll probably have a number of unanswered questions about how insurance coverage works in another state, or where you should file an injury claim for serious car accident injuries and damages.
Reporting an Insurance Claim after an Out-of-State Auto Accident
Typical auto policies extend coverage to all areas within the United States, in addition to provinces and territories in Canada. That means if you live in Georgia and get into an accident while on vacation in Florida, you should still receive coverage from your insurance company.
Being covered across the U.S. and Canada should make things easy when reporting an out of town accident to your insurance company. After you contact your insurance company, an insurance agent may assign you an adjustor from your hometown or the area where your accident occurred. This will depend on the insurance company’s policy.
If your car needs to be repaired at a shop near where the accident occurred, in most cases your insurance company should be able to help you. Insurance companies have a network of mechanics and towing companies that they can put you in touch with if you have an out of state accident.
Filing an Injury Lawsuit After an Out of State Accident
If you are seeking compensation for damaged property, personal injury, or extra travel expenses after an out of state car accident, it can be confusing as to where to file your lawsuit. Should you file it in your home state or where the accident occurred?
In most cases, you will follow the laws of the state where the car accident happened. One of the first things to consider is that the law changes when you cross state borders. Most states, like Georgia, are “at-fault” states. This means that whoever caused the accident is responsible for damages.
Although most states function this way, not all do. There are some exceptions. Some states follow pure comparative fault, others “modified comparative fault,” or others “contributory negligence.” These terms can all be interchangeable, and therefore very confusing to anyone involved in an auto accident out of state. Lastly, there are no-fault states.
Each out of state accident case is different because of the state’s jurisdiction. For this reason, it is crucial to talk to a car accident attorney as quickly as possible after a serious auto collision.
Contact Pope & Howard, P.C. after an Out of State Accident
Leading car accident lawyers in Atlanta, like those at Pope & Howard, P.C., are experienced with handling out-of-state accidents. Our firm only takes on cases involving catastrophic injuries or death, and our team is equipped to gain maximum compensation for clients who are involved in horrific accidents.
If you or a loved one were involved in an out of state car accident, contact the skilled auto accident attorneys at at Pope & Howard, P.C., in Atlanta, Georgia, to set up a consultation. Contact us via our contact form or by phone at 404-885-9999.