With summer now in full swing, many people are driving in and through other states. If you are injured while driving in another state, you should do most of the same things we tell our clients to do when they are injured while traveling in state.
Here’s what else you need to know. First, most claims arising from an injury in another state will need to be pursued in the state in which the accident occurred. If, for example, you are driving from Arkansas through Alabama to get to Florida, and you are injured in Alabama, you would need to pursue your injury claim in Alabama. This means that you’ll need to retain a law firm in Alabama to pursue your claim. There are some claims that might need to be pursued in Arkansas as well (like an under-insured claim against your own insurance carrier, for example). If you don’t know a lawyer from the state where the accident occurred, you are welcome to contact us and we can find one for you. In fact, we can stay involved in your case and be your primary point of contact so you don’t have to deal with an out-of-state lawyer on your own.
Second, you should know that there is a possibility that you wouldn’t have to travel back to the state where your injury occurred in order to pursue your injury claim there. If your injury case settles before a lawsuit is filed, then chances are you would not be required to travel to the other state to pursue your claim. If the insurance company won’t settle for a reasonable amount and your lawyer files a lawsuit to protect your rights, however, you’ll most likely have to travel to the other state a handful of times. Usually, you would need to be present for your deposition and, of course, for the trial in your case. There might be other times that you could travel to the other state to be involved in your case (for the other driver’s deposition, for example), but additional trips will probably not be necessary.
The one exception to being required to pursue your claim in the state where you are injured would be if you are injured in a car wreck where the other driver was also from Arkansas. In that situation, you could most likely pursue your injury claim in Arkansas. That might not be advisable (because all of the evidence and witnesses would be in the other state), but it’s something to consider and to discuss with your attorney.
Hopefully, your summer will be full of beaches, mountains, or roller coasters, and there will be no problems whatsoever. But, if you run across any issues on your way to the beach, please don’t hesitate to contact us. It won’t cost you a thing to call us and there’s a good chance that we’ll at least be able to help point you in the right direction.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should have your case evaluated by a personal injury attorney who is experienced at handling personal injury claims. Our attorneys represent clients from all over Arkansas.