Being in a car accident is a terrible and scary experience, and the stress of an accident can be amplified if you collide with someone who is not from California. Not only are you worried about your safety, but you are also worried about a potential hassle with insurance companies due to differing jurisdictions. The good news is that insurance companies expect out-of-state collisions to occur. A car, after all, is meant to help you travel. To an extent, most insurance companies adapt the insurer’s policy to the rules and requirements of where the accident happened. If the other driver is not from California, their insurance coverage will adapt to California’s at-fault, comparative negligence rules, and the minimum insurance requirements.

What to Do After an Out-of-State Accident?

An out-of-state accident involves one or more drivers who are not residents of the state where the accident took place. Where the drivers are from does not change the actions you take immediately after the crash. Just like any other accident on the road, you should do the following:

  • Do not apologize or admit fault in any way
  • Call the paramedics and police 
  • Get the name, insurance, and contact information of the other driver(s)
  • If there are witnesses, collect their information as well
  • Notify your insurance company
  • Contact a California car accident lawyer

After seeking medical help, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney. Negotiating with in-state insurance companies can be challenging. Attempting to negotiate with an insurance company outside of your state may be more complicated. You should hire an attorney to represent your best interests and help you through this challenging process. The state in which the accident occurs has jurisdiction over the lawsuit, meaning that a California court could try your case if it comes to that.

2 Legal Facts to Know as an Out-of-State Driver in California

Each state has its requirements on minimum auto insurance limits and whether no-fault or fault rules apply. If you are not a California resident, your insurance may adapt to California law. Here are a couple of facts about California law:

California Is a Fault State

When an accident occurs in California, a driver or entity must be at fault. California also requires that drivers have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. The victim of an accident must file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to receive compensation for damages. 

California Is a Comparative Negligence State

More than one driver or entity may be at fault for contributing to the accident. If multiple drivers are involved in the accident and are found to be at fault, they must share the liability for damages. If you are a driver who was found at fault, but also injured, this may result in a financial reduction of the compensation for which you filed in your insurance claim.

How a California Car Accident Lawyer Can Help after an Out-of-State Accident

An experienced car accident attorney will help you deal with insurance companies while you focus on your healing. Most of the process is handled online or over the phone, so neither of you needs to be physically present unless either party pursues a lawsuit. If a lawsuit ensues, a skilled attorney is critical to protecting your interests. The attorney understands California law, knows the best way to represent you, and knows how to present evidence to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you are not a resident of California, you will need to hire an attorney with the ability to practice law in California.

Contact Setareh Law’s California Car Accident Attorneys If You Were in an Out-of-State Accident

With over fourteen years of experience, Setareh Law has a legal team with the skill sets and passion for handling your car accident insurance claim and lawsuit. We provide each of our clients with exceptional legal services. At Setareh Law, we have handled numerous traffic accident cases and know how to build a strong claim on behalf of our clients. Our legal team will conduct a complete investigation to determine who is at fault, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary,  prepare your case for court. For a case evaluation, call (310) 659-1826 or fill out our contact form.