What to Do if I Get in a Car Wreck on Vacation Out of State?

Driving in unfamiliar territory comes with extra risks. When you’re involved in a car accident during a cross-country road trip or while vacationing in another state, what do you do? How is the process different from an accident in your home state?

The first thing you’ll need is a car accident attorney. Don’t panic.

First Steps After Your Accident

Not only were you just in an accident, but you’ve been in an accident in an unfamiliar location. This is an inherently stressful situation, but you can reduce that stress by focusing on these important first steps following your accident. 

  1. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. While interacting, do not admit fault.
  2. Report the accident to the police and your insurance company. Your insurance company may have a window for accident reporting, like within two days of the accident.
  3. If possible, take pictures of the scene for later evidence.
  4. Seek any necessary medical treatment.

After you’ve followed these first steps, call a car accident attorney.

Reporting Your Insurance Claim Out-of-State

The good news is that nearly all car insurance coverage in the United States covers you across every state, including some territories in Canada. This means that when you’re reporting your accident, it will be virtually the same process as it is back home. You can also take your vehicle to a mechanic for repairs under that policy while out-of-state. 

Car insurance minimums may change from state to state. If you have the minimum insurance in your home state, your policy will only extend as far as the minimum insurance requirements of the state where the collision occurred.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Out-of-State

If this accident caused serious injuries to you or a loved one, you have grounds to file a lawsuit. This would help you secure compensation for medical bills, property damage, and in some cases, funeral expenses. 

But because this accident happened out of state, you may wonder where you should file the injury lawsuit.

Overcoming Jurisdiction Issues

This is an issue of jurisdiction. Generally, you can file an injury lawsuit in either: 

  • The state where the accident occurred 
  • The state where the defendant (the other driver) lives

Regardless, unless the defendant also happens to be from your home state, you will be working within the rules of another state. 

If the collision is with a business vehicle and you’d like to sue the business, you can do so in the state the collision happened or where the business is. Keep in mind that states have different statutes of limitations, so contact a car accident attorney who knows that state’s laws. 

Hiring a Lawyer Out-Of-State

Once you’ve determined which state has jurisdiction over your case, hire legal representation from a lawyer who practices in that state. Unfortunately, if you have a lawyer back home, you won’t be able to use them unless they happen to also happen to have a license in the state you’re filing the suit in. 

However, if you have an attorney at home you’re adamant about hiring, there is a pro hac vice option, meaning they would be allowed to practice out-of-state for this occasion only. However, it usually requires them to work with another attorney who is licensed in the state where you’re filing the suit.

Injured in an Out-of-State Accident in Oklahoma? Call the Law Office of Bryan Garrett, PLCC

Out-of-state accidents are easier to manage with a car accident attorney on your side. If you were involved in an out-of-state collision in Oklahoma, contact the law office of Bryan Garrett, PLCC, at (405) 972-6931 today for a free consultation.

Bryan Garrett PLLC

Bryan Garrett has been dedicated to personal injury law for over 15 years in Oklahoma City. He has achieved excellent results for countless clients, whether through settlement or litigation.

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