You’ve planned a trip to Asheville, North Carolina, to explore Blue Ridge Parkway, or maybe you’ve planned a vacation to Georgetown, South Carolina, to enjoy some time on the beach. You’re driving down the interstate, minding your own business and obeying all traffic laws, when suddenly another car rear-ends you. The force of the impact causes your vehicle to veer off the road and into a ditch.
Your first thought is probably, “What do I do now?” You’re in a state you’re not familiar with, and you’re injured. Car accidents are stressful enough, but they can be even more confusing and overwhelming when you’re in a state you don’t live in.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we understand how complicated and stressful out-of-state accidents can be. We have experience handling these cases and can help you navigate the process.
Whether you’ve been in an accident in the mountains of North Carolina or near the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, we’ve got you covered. We’ll work with you to get the compensation you deserve and ensure the process is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We have offices in:
What to Do After an Out-Of-State Car Accident
If possible, you should move your car to the side of the road. If you can’t move your car, turn on your hazard lights and wait for help. Once you’re in a safe location, you should call the police. The police will create a report of the accident, which can be helpful later on. Then you should:
- Get Medical Attention – Your priority should be your health and well-being. If you’re able, seek medical attention right away. If you cannot do so, don’t worry – we can help you get the medical treatment you need.
- Gather Information – Then, you should exchange information with the other driver. You’ll need to get their name, contact information, insurance information, and license plate number. If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should also get their contact information.
- Contact Your Insurance Company – Once you have all this information, you should call your insurance company. They will help you figure out what to do next. When you speak with your insurer, alert them that you are in a different state. If your car is damaged, your insurance may cover additional expenses, such as a tow truck. They may also help you find a repair shop and answer any questions about your policy.
- Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer – Finally, contact a trusted personal injury attorney specializing in car accidents. Auto accidents are already confusing, but once you’re in an unfamiliar place, you want to ensure you have an expert on your side. When you discuss your case with a lawyer at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C., we can help you understand your legal options and work to get you the best possible outcome.
Don’t let an accident ruin your vacation or trip. If you’ve been involved in a car accident out-of-state, follow these steps and contact our office today. We’re here to help you through this difficult time.
Your Auto Insurance Policy Covers You No Matter Where You Are
If you have an accident while you’re out of state, your insurance will still cover you. Auto insurance policies cover residents anywhere in the United States. So, if you’re involved in an accident in North or South Carolina, don’t worry – your insurance will still provide coverage.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to review your insurance policy before you travel. You want to make sure you have the right coverage for your needs. And, if you’re planning on renting a car, you should check with your insurer to see if your policy covers rental cars.
Your Insurance Policy Limits May Change If You’re in Out-of-State Accident
Out-of-state accidents may feel like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but they happen all the time, especially during high tourism. If you are in an accident outside of your state, your coverage limits will adjust to meet whatever is required in the state where the crash occurred.
For instance, if your home state is Georgia, your policy requires minimum liability coverage limits of 25/50/25 for bodily injury and property damage liability. If you have an accident in North Carolina, where the requirements are 30/60/25, your policy limits for bodily injury will automatically increase to meet the North Carolina minimum.
If you’re driving in a state that requires minimum liability limits lower than your home state, such as if you’re a Texan resident where the insurance limits are 30/60/25, and you get in an accident in South Carolina where the limits are 25/50/25, your policy will not decrease to meet South Carolina state minimum. Instead, it will provide the maximum coverage on your policy even if it is more than what the state you’re visiting requires.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we have experience with car insurance companies in both states. When you contact us for a free consultation, we’ll help you figure out how your current auto insurance policy works in the current state.
Car Accidents in South Carolina vs. North Carolina
Even if you have insurance, an accident can still be a hassle – especially if it’s in a state other than yours. Each state has different laws and requirements when it comes to car accidents.
In South Carolina, for example, the at-fault driver is responsible for all damages caused by the accident. This includes damage to your car, medical bills, and lost wages.
In North Carolina, on the other hand, there is a law called pure contributory negligence. This means that if you are even partially at fault for an accident, you cannot recover damages from the other driver.
For example, let’s say you’re driving in Asheville and rear-ended another car. The other driver sues you, and the court finds that you’re 50% at fault and the other driver is 50% at fault. In North Carolina, you would not be able to recover any damages from the other driver because of pure contributory negligence.
However, in South Carolina, where a comparative negligence policy is followed, as long as the other driver is more than 50% at fault, you would be able to recover damages from them.
If you’ve been in an accident out-of-state, it’s important to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney who knows the laws of both states. At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we have experience handling South and North Carolina accidents. We can help you understand your rights and options, and we’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
What If I Need to File a Lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit for a car accident is where it gets tricky because jurisdiction comes into play. As a rule, you can sue in the state where the accident occurred or the state where the at-fault driver resides. So, you can sue in that state if your accident occurred in South Carolina. However, if the accident occurred in South Carolina, but the driver lives in North Carolina, you can also choose to file there.
For the most part, you cannot sue in your state unless the at-fault driver also lives there.
If the at-fault party is a business, such as a trucking company, you can sue in the state where the accident occurred or where the business resides. If the company does a significant amount of business in another state, you can usually sue in that state. However, small businesses are only under the jurisdiction of the state where they do business.
Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Attorney at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor
Determining where to file a lawsuit can be complicated, and getting it right the first time is important. At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C., our team of experienced car accident lawyers will help you determine the best course of action for your case.
We’ll review the facts of your accident and advise you on the best way to proceed. Contact us today for a free consultation. We serve accident victims throughout North and South Carolina.