If you’ve been in a car crash and suffered injuries, you probably aren’t thinking about the location of the accident or where the other driver lives. That’s understandable. Your first concern after an accident is getting medical treatment for any injuries you’ve sustained.
But where the accident occurred — and more importantly, where the other driver resides — could have a bearing on your car accident case. Depending on the circumstances, car accident claims can be complicated even when both drivers live in the same state. When an accident involves an out-of-state driver, the case can be more complex.
You need to contact an experienced Harrisonburg, Virginia car accident lawyer right away if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by an out-of-state driver. Attorney David Kendall, the founder of Kendall Law Firm, has the experience and knowledge to guide you through the process of holding an out-of-state driver accountable after a serious accident in Virginia. Kendall Law Firm can help you seek fair compensation for your medical bills and other accident-related losses. Learn more about our legal services by calling for a free initial consultation.
What’s an Out-of-State Car Accident?
There are three common scenarios of out-of-state accidents:
- You live in the state where the accident occurred, but the other driver does not
- You reside in Virginia, but were traveling out of the state and were involved in an accident
- Neither of the drivers involved in the accident lives in the state where the accident occurred.
Sorting out these issues can be a complex task. Be sure to get help from a car accident attorney who has previously handled cases involving out-of-state drivers.
Out-of-state drivers visiting Harrisonburg or passing through Rockingham County are required to obey Virginia traffic laws and drive in a safe manner. If an out-of-state drive causes a crash in Harrisonburg or elsewhere in the Shenandoah Valley, the Virginia courts would in most cases have jurisdiction over the accident case since the accident occurred in the Commonwealth.
After a serious crash involving an out-of-state driver in Virginia, you need to report the accident to the police. You would file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance to cover your losses. If the other driver’s insurance company refuses to accept liability for the accident, you may need to file a lawsuit and ask the court to order the insurance company to compensate you. You’ll need a local Harrisonburg lawyer to handle the case if a car accident lawsuit needs to be filed in Virginia.
Steps to Take After Out-of-State Car Accidents
The basic steps you need to take after an out-of-state accident are similar to those you would take after any other collision.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Call 911 to bring police and emergency medical personnel to the scene. You or someone else involved in the crash may have serious injuries and need to be taken to a hospital. You’ll want to make sure police arrive at the scene so they can file an accident report.
- Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance information, license plate number, and driver’s license number. You’ll want to give the same information to the other driver.
- Take pictures to document the crash. Be sure to get pictures of the damage to all the vehicles involved, your injuries, and anything in the area around the crash that may have contributed to the accident. Save these pictures for later use.
- If there are any eyewitnesses, try to get their names and contact information.
- Get medical treatment for your injuries. If you aren’t taken to a hospital, see your own doctor within 24 hours, regardless of how you feel.
- Report the accident to your insurance company and provide the name of the other driver and their insurance information.
- Speak to a car accident lawyer to help you understand your legal options. Waiting too long to talk to an attorney can jeopardize your case.
Insurance Coverage in Out-of-State Accidents
Most insurance companies will cover a crash that occurs out of state. Valid auto insurance policies generally cover their policyholders in all 50 states. Some companies even have policies that will cover crashes in Canada or U.S. territories. If you were injured and the other driver was at fault, it’s a good idea to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Whether you reside in Virginia or in another state, you will want to hire an attorney who is licensed to practice law in Virginia if the accident occurred in Rockingham County or elsewhere in Virginia.
If you have a serious injury, you need to hire a local lawyer after an accident who can file a lawsuit if necessary. Lawyers are only allowed to practice law in states where they’re licensed.
Different states have different auto insurance laws. A local attorney will be familiar with insurance laws in Virginia that apply to your accident and can help you pursue a claim against a non-Virginia driver. For example, Virginia bars plaintiffs from recovering compensation after an accident if the plaintiff contributed to the crash in any way. This means you’ll want a lawyer who knows how to show that you are not to blame for the accident.
Contact an Out-of-State Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’re involved in an accident with an out-of-state driver in Virginia, Kendall Law Firm can help you figure out your next steps and assist you with seeking compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today for more information.