What You Should Do If You Are Injured By an Out-Of-State Driver
A car accident is difficult under any circumstances. You might have suffered severe injuries, and medical bills may be piling up. You probably lost your transportation. And you likely have questions about what to do next, whether you should contact the other driver’s insurance company, and how to make the other driver pay for the damages they caused. This process becomes even more complicated when the driver who caused the accident lives out of state.
Receiving full and fair compensation for your injuries and the damage to your property will involve evaluating Connecticut liability and fault/no-fault insurance laws, the statute of limitations, and the details of filing a lawsuit.
Fortunately, Connecticut personal injury Stephen Lebedevitch is available to answer your questions, protect your rights, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident with an Out-of-State Driver
The steps you take immediately after a car accident with an out-of-state driver are the same as those you would take after any car accident.
- Check yourself for injuries.
- Seek medical attention.
- Exchange information with the other parties, police officers, and witnesses.
- Take photos of the vehicles involved in the accident, the accident scene, and the surrounding area.
- Contact your insurance company and an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney.
Determine Which State’s Laws Apply to Your Claim
Next, you must determine which state laws apply to your claim. This step is actually fairly straightforward. The accident will be governed by the law of the state where it occurred. If the accident happened in Connecticut, Connecticut law will apply. Regardless of whether you are a Connecticut driver who was hit by someone from another state or a resident of another state who was involved in a car accident in Connecticut, Connecticut law will apply.
While determining which state’s laws apply is fairly straightforward, it is a very important step. The state laws that apply to personal injury claims can vary considerably from state to state, and it is essential to understand which law applies to your situation.
If you are not a Connecticut resident, you may have concerns about how to move forward with your claim. You still have the right to recover compensation, but the process will be slightly more complicated. If your car accident occurred in Connecticut, it is wise to retain a Connecticut lawyer who understands state and local law and can better protect your interests.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the time in which you must file a lawsuit. This time limit can vary considerably from state to state. If you fail to file your claim within the applicable statute of limitations, your claim will be barred, and you will lose your right to compensation.
Connecticut’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date the injury occurred. However, there are exceptions. An experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney can explain your legal options and protect your rights.
Comparative Fault and Contributory Negligence
State laws can vary considerably when it comes to questions of comparative fault and contributory negligence. These terms refer to a situation in which more than one party was responsible for causing the accident.
In Connecticut, you can recover partial damages if you are up to 50% at fault. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault for causing the accident, you are not entitled to recover compensation.
If you are eligible to recover damages and were partially responsible for causing the accident, the amount of your financial recovery will be reduced by the percentage you were at fault. For example, if you are found to be 25% at fault for causing the accident, your damage recovery will be reduced by 25%.
Different states apply different laws when it comes to situations in which more than one party was responsible for causing the accident, and the effect on your financial recovery can be significant.
Every state has its own set of procedural rules that apply in civil cases. These rules cover a wide range of topics, including how pleadings are filed and served, time limits for filing motions and other court documents, and how a trial would proceed. These procedures are highly technical, and it is important that you work with a lawyer who understands and is well-versed in the procedural rules that will apply to your case.
Identify Whose Insurance Company Will Pay the Claim
Some states apply “no-fault” insurance coverage. If you are involved in a car accident in a no-fault state, your insurance company will pay for your losses regardless of who caused the accident.
Connecticut is not a no-fault state, which means compensation and who pays for your damages will be determined by who caused the accident.
Almost every state requires that its drivers carry a certain minimum amount of automobile insurance. In Connecticut, the state minimums are:
- $20,000 in personal injury coverage per person
- $40,000 in personal injury coverage per accident (no matter how many people are injured)
- 10,000 in property damage liability
- $20,000 for uninsured motorist coverage
- $40 for underinsured motorist coverage
These minimum limits apply to Connecticut drivers. Different states have different requirements. While a driver from another state might have a different minimum insurance amount, most insurance coverage applies across state borders.
Prepare to File a Lawsuit
Most car accident claims are resolved without going to trial. Nonetheless, if you are not willing to file a lawsuit, the other driver’s insurance company may not take your claim as seriously. To obtain the best result, you need a credible threat that you will file a lawsuit and, if necessary, take your case to trial.
Work with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Recovering full and fair compensation for a car accident is not always straightforward. To give yourself the best chance of recovering full and fair compensation for your injuries, you need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who knows and understands Connecticut personal injury law and is not afraid to fight for your rights.
Connecticut personal injury attorney Stephen Lebedevitch has extensive experience representing people who have been hurt in car accidents. The Lebedevitch Law Firm handles car accident cases throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties.
We invite you to learn more about attorney Stephen Lebedevitch, to read reviews from other people he has helped, and to contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.