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While most of us haven’t been doing much traveling over the past year, with vaccinations increasing and pandemic numbers on the decline, it’s likely that we’ll be able to hit the road just in time for summer.

Unfortunately, accidents happen even when we’re on vacation. If you’ve been involved in a car accident out-of-state, you might be wondering how to get compensation.

Today, the Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, will break down the basics of seeking compensation for a car accident that happens outside of Texas.

FAQs About Out-of-State Car Crashes

1.Where Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, figuring out where to file a car accident personal injury suit for an out-of-state car crash can be a bit tricky. This is because there are actually a few different options. Generally speaking, out-of-state car accident victims can file a suit in one of the following locations:

            • The state where the accident occurred
            • The state where the defendant (the individual or business being sued) resides

For instance, if you travel out-of-state to Florida and are involved in a car crash caused by a driver from Missouri, you can file a suit either in Florida or Missouri.

While it might be preferable to file in the state where you live, you will only be able to do so if the person being sued consents to being sued there. It’s unlikely that the defendant will want to make suing any easier for you, so you will likely be forced to sue in one of the other two states.

2.Which State’s Laws Apply?

Predictably, determining which state’s laws apply to your case can be even more important than knowing where to file a suit. This is because the laws regarding what compensation can be awarded to victims vary from state to state.

For example, in Alabama, if you are found to be even 1% at-fault for your accident, you will not qualify for any damages. Comparatively, in New York, a person’s compensation is dependent upon the extent to which they were at-fault for the accident. This means that if the responsibility was 50/50, you will only be eligible to recover, at most, 50% of your losses.

In most cases, the laws of the state where the accident took place will be applied to your case. However, if you are unable to qualify for compensation in the state where your accident occurred, but you happen to qualify in the state where the defendant resides, a car accident attorney may be able to help you argue that the more favorable laws should apply in your case.

3.What About Out-of-State Multi-Car Accidents?

While they may be more complex, out-of-state car accidents involving multiple drivers may actually be more favorable for plaintiffs. This is due to the fact that you have more options regarding where to file. Similar to single-vehicle accidents, you will be able to file in any of the following locations:

            • The state where the accident occurred
            • Any state where at least one defendant lives

With this in mind, if you are injured in a car accident involving multiple at-fault parties, you may be able to file in a more convenient location. With the help of an attorney, you may also be able to argue that the laws in that state should apply to your case instead, which may provide more favorable conditions.

4.How Do I Make an Insurance Claim?

Filing an insurance claim for an out-of-state car accident is actually pretty similar to filing an insurance claim for an accident in your home state, since your car insurance policy should cover you no matter where you drive.

It is worth noting, however, that some states’ laws differ when it comes to determining who is at-fault for the accident, so you may not be able to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance.

Michigan, for instance, is considered a no-fault state. Therefore, the law assumes that no one is at fault for accidents that happen in the state. So, if you are rear-ended at a stop sign, you will still be filing a claim against your own insurance policy, not the policy of the person who hit you.

Get the Compensation You Deserve Whether You’re In or Out of State

Determining the best place to file or the right party to make a claim against after an out-of-state car accident can be complicated. You may need to research the car accident laws in multiple states in order to figure this out on your own – but it doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident out-of-state, the compassionate car accident attorneys at Lapeze and Johns, PLLC, can guide you through the filing process to help you find your best path forward.

If you’ve been injured in an out-of-state car accident, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze and Johns today for assistance.

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About Keith Lapeze

Keith Lapeze co-founded Lapeze & Johns with the focus of delivering dependable legal services to individuals hurt in accidents caused by negligence. After graduating third in his class from Louisiana State University Law Center, Mr. Lapeze continued his calling through commercial, environmental, and tort litigation where he is admitted to practice in both Texas and Louisiana, the United States Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Read more about Keith Lapeze here.

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