What to Do if You Are Involved in a Car Accident Out of State

If you are hitting the road this summer, it is important to understand what to do if you are involved in a car accident while in another state.

If you are hitting the road to a faraway destination this summer, you may be crossing many State lines. And anytime you are on the road, there is a chance you may be involved in an accident.

packing the car for vacation

Missouri is a state that operates under comparative negligence, but not all states are the same. When you are in a car accident away from home, your home-state car accident laws generally won’t apply; therefore, it is good to be aware of what to expect.

Car accident law is based on the doctrine of negligence. Negligence means that a driver did something that directly led to an accident happening. It can also mean that a driver failed to act when they should have and that failure to act directly led to an accident.

What Is Comparative Negligence?

In the state of Missouri, if you are in a car accident, two drivers can be held responsible for their “portion” of the accident.

Since two drivers, or even multiple drivers, can act negligently, resulting in a car accident, comparative negligence is a way of making sure that each driver is responsible for the part they played or how much their negligent act contributed to the car accident.

What Is an At-Fault State?

Some States operate under the at-fault negligence law. At-fault states require that only one driver is deemed negligent and responsible for an accident. In at-fault states, any driver over 50% responsible for a car accident generally becomes 100% liable for paying for it.

If you are involved in an accident in a state that adheres to the at-fault negligence law, one party will likely be held solely at fault and responsible.

What Is a No-Fault State?

Some states adhere to the no-fault negligence law. In no-fault states, it doesn’t matter who is negligent or to blame in an accident. No-fault states require that every driver have insurance to cover them if they are in a crash.

Since it doesn’t matter who caused the accident, each driver takes care of their respective injuries and damages. States that adhere to no-fault laws are required to carry insurance called PIP, which is a policy that covers the driver no matter who is at fault.

Missouri requires that each driver carry the mandatory minimum liability insurance. Since it is a comparative negligence state, the insurance company covers the insured person’s portion of negligence. However, if you are driving in another State where the laws are different, you might have a hard time dealing with the difference in how insurance companies pay.

St. Louis Car Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a car accident in another state this summer, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney to sort through the details and ensure you do not end up settling for less than you are legally entitled to.

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Updated: July 28, 2021