Getting into a car accident here in California can be a stressful experience at the best of times. When it happens in another state, however, things can get even more complicated and confusing. If this nightmare scenario should ever happen to you, there are several steps you will need to take immediately afterward, such as:
If you were to get into a car crash here in California, the first thing you would do once the dust has settled is call the police. For an accident that occurs out of state, the process is exactly the same. Grab your phone, dial 911, and report the incident to the local sheriff’s office or police department.
Once law enforcement officials have been notified about your collision, they will dispatch someone to the scene. When they arrive, you will almost certainly be asked to provide them with a statement of events. This information, along with any other details gathered by the officers will then be compiled into a report which you can access later.
After any car, truck, or motorcycle accident, seeking medical attention should always be a priority. This advice even applies if you feel relatively fine in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Serious injuries do not always appear straight away. Some may take days, weeks, or even months to cause any noticeable symptoms.
Of course, when your car crash happens out of state, you probably won’t have easy access to your usual physician. In this case, your best bet is to see a local doctor as soon as you can. They will be able to treat any immediate medical needs you may have. You can then return home to seek more long-term treatment from your regular physician if needed.
If possible, it is generally advisable to gather lots of evidence from the scene of your out-of-state car accident. Photographs are usually the best option. However, you may also wish to speak to some witnesses about what they saw. If so, make sure you write down their contact info – you may need to reach out to them again later.
The evidence that you gather at the time of your crash may prove valuable if your accident turns into a lawsuit. If you intend to sue the other party, you can use your pictures and witness statements to make your case stronger. If they attempt to file a lawsuit against you, the evidence that you have gathered may help you get the suit thrown out.
Almost all auto insurance policies extend coverage to every state in the nation. As such, your California insurer should still cover you even if your accident occurred in Texas or New York. Of course, before your insurance company can do anything, you will need to give them a call to report the accident.
Generally speaking, the process of reporting an out of state car crash should be fairly straightforward. In most cases, your insurer will assign you an adjuster from your home state to work with you throughout the process. However, this does not always happen. Some insurance companies prefer to use adjusters from the state in which the accident occurred.
Regardless of the location of your adjuster, the level of help that you receive should remain the same. Most notably, you should still have access to your insurance company’s network of towing providers and service centers. With their help, you should hopefully be able to get your vehicle back on the road before too long.
If your out of state car accident was not your fault and you would like to look into the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the other party, you will need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. If the accident occurred, for example, in Austin, TX, then you would want a local car accident lawyer familiar with Texas laws.
Your lawyer will be able to review the specifics of your accident and let you know if your suit is likely to be successful and how large of a settlement you may be entitled to. If your case is strong, you will most likely be able to seek compensation for your medical bills, damage to your property, lost wages, and a host of other damages.
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