What to Do After an Out-of-State Car Accident
Getting into a car accident in any location is always a serious matter that should be handled with care. However, many people believe that if the accident happens while they are driving out of state, the process will become more complicated. In reality, both insurance companies and police departments are well prepared for the fact that an accident may involve drivers from two states.
Accordingly, laws and insurance regulations are written so that people who get in accidents while traveling are well covered. In short, the steps that people should take following an accident on their home street are exactly the same as those they should take halfway across the country. Call an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer for more information, and read on for more information on what to do after an out-of-state car accident.
Steps to Take Following the Accident
These steps will not only protect a driver against any additional legal troubles but will also preserve evidence for their own potential lawsuit.
- Move the car into a safe place following the accident: This should only be done if one is mostly uninjured and if the car can be moved safely.
- Provide assistance to any people in need: All states have a law which requires people to provide help for injured motorists. This can include providing first aid if possible but requires people to call for first responders.
- Call the police: The police should be the first people called after an accident. Regardless if a person is injured, the police will create an impartial report that carries great weight in potential lawsuits. This step also fulfills the driver’s requirement to get aid for any injured person.
- Make sure to take pictures of the cars involved and the surrounding area: With virtually all people carrying a camera in their cell phones, taking pictures has never been easier. These will assist in any future reconstructions of the accident for insurance purposes.
- Contact the insurance company: Initiating a claim with one’s insurance company is the first step towards receiving compensation for some of one’s property damage and bodily injuries. A person should take great caution before speaking with the other driver’s insurance representative so that they do not unintentionally admit guilt.
Every state requires that a person’s car insurance policy carry differing minimum coverage levels. For example, New York requires that car insurance policies protect their owners with a minimum of $50,000 personal bodily injury protection and $10,000 for any property damage.
In addition, all policies must cover at least $25,000 for other people’s injuries. In contrast, Pennsylvania’s requirements are far lower. They require only that a policy covers $5,000 worth of personal injury protection, $5,000 for property damage and $15,000 for other people’s injuries. This can create an interesting situation where Pennsylvania drivers can be driving their cars in New York without having minimally legal coverage.
All states recognize these differences and if a Pennsylvania driver is involved in an accident in New York, their policy will automatically adjust to provide the minimum coverage required by New York law. In total, there is nothing to fear about getting into an accident in another state. All laws concerning a driver’s responsibility after an accident are fairly uniform and by following the tips listed above, drivers can limit their legal vulnerability.
In addition, any concerns about minimal insurance coverage should be forgotten, as insurance companies will adjust their minimums to meet local requirements.