Liability and Injuries in Out-of-State Car Accident

out of state accident

When two vehicles are in a car accident in California, fault will have to be determined before insurance settlements are paid. Most states follow the same at-fault, or tort, system that California does, so, even when a Californian gets into an accident in another state, the insurance procedure is much the same. However, what happens immediately following the accident will differ slightly and cause more of an inconvenience to the California driver.

This goes back to the fact that California and other at-fault states will need to prove which driver was at fault for the accident before paying any settlements. This will mean that an insurance adjuster will need to visit the scene of the accident, speak to the parties involved, and take pictures of the damaged vehicles. All this takes time and the out-of-state driver is not always able to return home before the insurance adjuster does their work.

How to Handle Injuries After an Accident

If the California driver suffers serious injuries, they also may not be able to return home immediately. They may need to stay at an out-of-state hospital, leaving them far away from friends and family at a time they may need them the most. In addition, while all health insurance plans will cover emergency services at any hospital in the country, if the injured party is using a healthcare provider outside of their network, they may end up paying higher fees.

If there are no serious injuries, the California driver will likely be able to return home once the insurance adjuster assesses the damage and determines fault. That is only if their car is still driveable. If it is not, they will likely have to remain in the state until their vehicle can be repaired.

Understanding No-Fault State Laws

If the California driver got into an accident in a no-fault state, such as Utah, the laws of the state the accident happened in will prevail. Under no-fault insurance, the driver’s insurance company will pay accident benefits even if they were not at fault for the accident. Even if the California driver was not at fault for the accident, their insurance company may end up paying for their damage anyways and this can mean an increase in insurance rates.

Nobody ever wants to get into a car accident, which is why it is so important to be extra vigilant and careful when behind the wheel. But this becomes even more important when traveling out-of-state. Not only may laws such as speed limits be different but getting into an accident when far from home can result in far more inconveniences.