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

What to Do After an Out-of-State Car Accident
Mar 31, 2018

Georgia is a beautiful place to work and play, but even those living in the state like to travel to other places from time-to-time. With states like Florida and South Carolina so close, many Georgians choose to drive to their chosen destination. And while these road trips most often result in fun memories, sometimes they can also result in car accidents. Here is what Georgia resident should do when they get into an accident out of state.

The first thing to remember is that after an accident, no matter where it occurs, there are a few steps one should take. The driver should call the police as soon as possible. Not only will a police officer file an accident report, but he will also be able to inform all parties involved in what the laws of the state are. The laws of the state where the accident occurred will govern all aspects of the accident so contacting the police can be a great help.

Once the police visit the scene, it is important to get medical attention immediately if there are injuries. Even when it does not seem like there are any injuries, it is still important to get medical advice since there can be injuries that are not apparent at first. Documenting this medical treatment with doctor’s reports is also very important. Even when out of state, this documentation can prove to be helpful later on if the case ends up going to court or the insurance company needs the validation of treatment expenses.

Drivers should also contact their own insurance company.  This will help particularly if the insurer of the at-fault party denies responsibility and you will also satisfy Uninsured Motorist requirements.  Also, secure evidence of the accident including pictures of the scene, damage to any vehicles, and any injuries. Drivers should also record names and contact information of witnesses, as well as all parties involved in the accident.

After taking the immediate steps, it is likely that insurance and legal issues will be the next concern. While Georgia is an at-fault state, meaning that the insurance company of the at-fault party will pay out accident benefits and expenses for repairs to the vehicle, the insurance company of the Georgia resident may still cover their costs.

This will depend on the specific insurance policy but may provide coverage for all areas of the United States, and sometimes even Canada. For those who travel outside of Georgia regularly, it is a good idea to include this form of insurance within their policy to protect them while out of state.

When there are serious injuries or even a wrongful death, it is important to speak to an attorney with a license to practice in that state. Many out of state attorneys can still practice in other states, but not all. Those with a personal injury attorney in Georgia should speak to them first. Even if they cannot practice in another state, they may be able to provide a referral to another attorney with adequate licensing requirements.

Being in an accident is always stressful. But when it happens out of state, it can cause a person to become even more anxious about the situation. Knowing the steps to take and how the laws will affect the outcome of the accident can provide some peace of mind.