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Wreck with a Driver from a Different State

Regardless of the circumstances, car accidents are stressful experiences that can be emotionally and physically draining. There are insurance companies to deal with, repair bills to pay, and maybe even physical injuries to heal from. It complicates matters significantly if your accident involved someone from out of state.

If you have been in a crash involving an out-of-state driver, Nix Patterson can help you explore your options and fight to get the justice you deserve. Our car accident attorneys have a proven track record of success and have built their reputation on guiding principles centered on fearless representation and unrivaled results. We work solely on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us nothing unless we win.

Understanding Where an Out-of-State Driver’s Policy Covers a Driver

Auto insurance laws are designed to protect all drivers injured on the road, no matter where an accident takes place. However, these laws can vary a lot from state to state out-to-state and have unique terms including fault laws and coverage limits. They could potentially complicate a car accident case when you must file a claim under their policies.

Here are a few questions to ask to determine if the out-of-state driver’s policy applies to your home state:

  1. Did you sustain any serious injuries?
  2. Was the out-of-state driver’s insurance company registered in your state?

In many cases, after a car accident in a different state, you can proceed as if the other driver had an insurance policy in your state. In some instances, you may need to initiate an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim or pursue an alternative option to recover damages like medical bills and other losses.

Knowing Where to File a Lawsuit After an Accident With an Out-of-State Driver

One key consideration in auto accidents involving out-of-state drivers is where to file a lawsuit. In general, you can file your car accident lawsuit in the state where:

  • The accident occurred
  • The at-fault driver lives

For example, if you live in Texas and are involved in a wreck caused by a driver from Oklahoma, and you suffer injuries, you can sue the driver from Oklahoma in:

  • Texas — the state where the crash occurred
  • Oklahoma — the state where the at-fault driver lives

When a Business Is Involved

If you sustain injuries in an auto accident and the party responsible is a business, for example, a trucking company, then you can sue the trucking company in the state where the crash occurred or in the state where the trucking company is based. Businesses are generally considered to be based in the state where their principal place of business is located or where they were incorporated. In addition, if a business conducts a substantial portion of its operations in a different state, like your home state, you generally have the option to file a lawsuit in that state.

When Multiple Defendants From Different States Are Involved

Things get more complicated if multiple parties from different states are responsible for your motorcycle or car accident. In such personal injury cases, you can file a lawsuit against all the responsible parties in:

  • The state where the crash occurred
  • In any state where at least one of the responsible parties lives

State Laws Affecting Your Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Wreck With an Out-of-State Driver

Another critical consideration when filing a lawsuit after a wreck involving an out-of-state driver is knowing which state’s laws apply to your case. Consider the following scenario:

You are involved in a car accident in Maryland. The driver that hit you is from Georgia. The accident was partially your fault — say you made an illegal left turn — and partially the result of the other driver’s negligence — they were intoxicated while driving. You decide to sue the other driver in Georgia.

Maryland, North Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, and the District of Columbia follow the pure contributory negligence law, meaning you’ll be barred from recovering any damages if you shared even 1% of the fault for the accident.

On the other hand, Georgia has a modified comparative negligence law, meaning if you’re 49% at fault for an accident, your damages are reduced by your percent of the fault. However, if you share more than 50% of the fault for the accident, you cannot recover any damages. This means that if Maryland’s laws apply to your lawsuit, you might not recover any damages. However, if Georgia’s laws apply, and you’re less than 49% at fault for your injuries, you could recover some damages less your percent of the fault.

Steps to Take After a Crash With a Driver From a Different State

Regardless of which state the other driver is from, take the following steps after to protect your rights after an auto accident:

  • Call the police
  • Exchange information with the other party
  • Get information from witnesses about the wreck
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Photograph the crash scene if possible
  • Report the wreck to your insurance company
  • Get legal help from Nix Patterson

Contact Nix Patterson Today to Get Answers After a Wreck With a Driver From a Different State

Crashes involving out-of-state drivers, as with any automobile accident, can be scary. Determining the best course of action after a car accident in another state can be overwhelming — especially if you’re doing this after a severe wreck. State-specific statutes may also complicate matters, and pursuing justice with these parameters in play can be more confusing.

If you’ve sustained serious injuries because of a negligent driver from out-of-state, contact Nix Patterson today at 512-328-5333 to speak with our attorneys about your options and the right path to pursuing justice. Let us help you through every step of the way as you focus on healing and recovery.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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