What You Should Do if You Are Involved in an Out-of-State Accident
During the winter months, New Jersey residents may be craving the feel of warm sunshine in another state. It is not uncommon for families to jump in the car and take a road trip in search of a warmer climate with a plan for a beach day or two.
But no one ever plans for an accident. So, what should you do if the worst happens and you or your loved ones are injured in a car accident while you are on vacation in a different state?
Let the New Jersey car accident lawyers review your claim and see how we may be able to help you, even if the accident did not happen in New Jersey.
Are You Covered?
Before taking the trip, you should review your insurance policy and investigate the tort laws of the state or states you will be visiting. Remember, New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means that having Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in your insurance policy is mandatory. The good thing about this kind of policy is that the protection follows the driver, so an accident that happens while visiting another state might be covered by your insurance policy. As this is a complex situation, it is important to discuss it with an experienced lawyer.
What to do After the Accident
Just like any other accident, the first thing you should do is call 9-1-1 to report the crash to the police. The police report is an objective, third-party account of what happened and may help your attorney prove the other driver was at fault.
You should also seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you do not feel pain right away. The adrenaline from an accident may hide potential injuries for up to 72 hours after a crash.
Once you are out of harm’s way and your injuries have been stabilized, you should call a licensed attorney who can review your case and see how you may be able to move forward with a claim.
Filing a Claim
Generally, the laws of the state where an accident happened dictate how an accident claim is handled, so it is important to discuss this with a licensed attorney.
For accidents that occur in a no-fault state like Florida or Pennsylvania, our attorneys may be able to follow the same protocols as if the accident had occurred in New Jersey. Florida is a no-fault state and Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault state.
However, the situation may become complicated in a state like Maryland or Virginia where the law differs. These states, called at-fault states for insurance purposes, have what is called tort laws. In states such as these, the insurance policy for the person found at fault for an accident is usually the one that pays damages, including injuries.
If you are injured by a negligent driver on a Virginia highway, you may be legally required to file your claim with that person’s liability insurance.
Filing a Lawsuit
The laws of the state where the crash happened govern whether you can file a lawsuit. While each state is different, generally, at-fault states allow you to file a lawsuit with few exceptions. No-fault states place limitations on when you can file a lawsuit.
However, sometimes a lawsuit may be the only way to recover maximum compensation. That is why it is so important to discuss the situation with an experienced attorney. The lawyers at Lynch Law Firm, PC are focused on the best interests of accident victims, not insurance companies.
Call a Knowledgeable Attorney for Assistance
Car accidents involving multiple jurisdictions may be stressful and more complicated than an accident that occurs in your home state.
Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to review your claim and see how we may be able to help you.
Call today to schedule your free consultation at (800) 518-0508