Texas is a huge state in the heart of the country. Many drivers may find themselves outside of the familiarity of Texas roadways and ultimately end up in an out-of-state car accident. The mental and physical trauma is heightened by being far from home.
If you’re a Texas driver that just got into an out-of-state accident, you’re probably wondering, “What do I do next?” Well, you should start by seeking legal aid from an expert auto accident attorney.
If you’ve been injured by the negligence of another, you could hire any injury law firm near you, or you can hire a top rated car injury lawyer in Houston, TX. Joe Stephens has been defending injury victims in Texas for over 3 decades from negligent individuals, companies, and greedy insurance companies. As a client focused vehicle accident law firm in Katy, Joe handles all cases personally, and his staff is always available to answer questions.
Do I Need an Out-of-State Lawyer if I Got Into a Car Wreck in Another State?
If you have been in an accident out of state, why is your safest option for recovery is to seek the aid of an experienced auto accident attorney? You may be dealing with different laws, questions of jurisdiction, and insurance policy coverage issues.
Does My Policy Cover Out-of-State Accidents?
You are most likely still covered by insurance even if you are in an out-of-state accident. Coverage usually extends to all 50 states and sometimes even Canadian provinces. The hard part with out-of-state accidents arises if you go to court.
Your insurance provider or the other party’s provider may want to have a judge weigh in. If the accident is out-of-state, that judge may not be in your state. Questions of jurisdiction, where to file suit, and more will crop up.
However, an experienced auto accident attorney can handle this with ease.
Does My Coverage Shift if I am in an Out-of-State Accident?
These types of accidents happen frequently, so most insurance companies have protocol in place to ensure you are covered. The policy and coverage limit will adjust to meet the requirements of the crash location.
For example, Texas requires at least 30/60/25 coverage for personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage. On the other hand, Alaska requires 50/100/25. If your accident is in Alaska, the coverage will increase to meet the Alaska minimum.
Conversely, if the liability limits are lower, your policy coverage will not decrease. Instead, it will stay at the maximum coverage rate, even if it is higher than what the visiting state requires.
What About Fault?
Texas is a comparative fault state, which means that whoever is more at fault is the one responsible. Insurance companies look to assign at least 51% of the blame to one party or the other.
However, some states, like Florida, are no-fault states. This means a driver’s personal injury protection covers the injuries regardless of fault. So, if you get into an accident in a no-fault state, your PIP will cover your injuries.
Other states are known as ‘tort states’ where a negligent driver is held responsible and not your PIP coverage. So, a negligent driver can be held liable for fault and responsible for injuries.
Usually, the state where the accident occurred will determine fault, minimum liability coverage, and statute of limitations.
What Should I Tell My Insurance?
Whenever you talk to insurance providers, let them know you live in a different state than where the accident occurred. In some instances, your policy may adapt and provide additional services, like a tow truck to get your car home. They can also connect you to reputable repair shops in the area and answer policy questions.
If You Were Injured in a Car Wreck Call Houston Injury Attorney Joe Stephens Now
Handling an out-of-state car accident is complicated. You do not have to stress the unfamiliar territory of out-of-state laws and regulations when you have an expert on your side. Contact auto accident attorney Joe Stephens for assistance.
The Stephens Law Firm, Car Accident Lawyers handles auto accident lawsuits across Texas, including these Houston cities.