Louisiana gets its fair share of tourists in the summer months. This could be because Louisiana is a relatively short drive from several other states.
What this means is Louisiana drivers may be at higher risk for crashes with out-of-state drivers. The question is, do you know what to do if this happens to you?
Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced attorneys review your legal options after a crash with an out-of-state driver. If you have any questions after this type of crash or any other type of car accident, call us to find out how we can help. Our legal services are provided at no upfront cost.
Free initial legal consultation. Learn more by calling: (337) 984-8020.
How Does Insurance Coverage Work When the Driver Lives Out of State?
Even though the driver who caused your crash has an insurance policy from another state, you should be able to seek compensation from that policy as the victim of a crash. Most car insurance policies cover accidents in all 50 U.S. states and even U.S. territories like Puerto Rico.
If the other driver only has the minimum coverage required in his or her home state, and it is less than what is required in Louisiana, the insurance company should make up the difference. In other words, the at-fault driver will be treated as if he or she was carrying the minimum required coverage in Louisiana. Car insurers have broadening clauses that allow them to increase coverage for these types of situations.
It is important to note that this does not work the other way. The other driver’s liability coverage is not going to decrease to the minimum requirement in the state where the crash happened. That means your Lafayette auto accident lawyer may be able to seek compensation up to the limits of the at-fault driver’s policy.
What if the Other Driver is From a No-Fault State?
Louisiana is an at-fault state, which means crash victims seek compensation from the policy of the driver who caused the accident. In no-fault states, drivers are required to purchase personal injury protection coverage, which pays for damages they suffer in a crash, regardless of fault.
Most of these states also require drivers to purchase a minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage, which pays for damages the policyholder causes in a collision. That means you, as the victim of a crash, can still seek compensation from the insurance policy of a driver from a no-fault state.
These are the 11 no-fault states, along with their bodily injury liability requirements:
- Florida – bodily injury coverage is not required
- Hawaii – $20,000 per person/$40,000 per crash
- Kansas – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- Kentucky – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- Massachusetts – $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident
- Michigan – $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
- Minnesota – $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident
- New Jersey – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in standard policies
- New York – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- North Dakota – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
If the at-fault driver is from Florida, his or her insurance policy may still provide third-party coverage for your damages. However, this is a complex issue that should be discussed with an experienced attorney. You do not want to try to go through the legal process on your own. It is often very difficult for drivers to recover full compensation on their own. Insurance companies routinely try to underpay victims who are not represented by attorneys.
Where Would a Lawsuit Be Filed For an Out-of-State Car Accident?
The crash happened in Louisiana, so if a lawsuit needs to be filed, it would be filed in Louisiana. If you traveled out of the state and got into a crash, the lawsuit would be filed in that state.
However, most car accident cases do not make it to court. They are often settled beforehand. That said, you need a lawyer who has been to court and will prepare your case for court. If your lawyer is not prepared to go to court, the insurance company may be less likely to offer full compensation.
What if the At-Fault Driver is in a Rental Car?
Your lawyer may still be able to seek compensation from the driver’s personal auto insurance, as it may still apply to the rental car. Sometimes credit card companies provide insurance for rental cars when the credit is used to pay for the rental car. Rental car companies also offer supplemental coverage that your lawyer may be able to include in a claim.
This is another wrinkle to a crash with an out-of-state driver, and a reason why it is important to talk about the situation with an experienced lawyer.
What to do After a Crash With an Out-of-State Driver
You should treat the crash the same way you would a crash with an in-state driver. Call the police, exchange information, seek medical treatment, and contact an experienced attorney for help with the legal process.
Exchanging information and filing a police report is particularly important because the driver does not live in Louisiana. This is why you should strive to get as much information about the other driver as you can.
Sometimes it is not possible to go around and collect evidence. You may be too seriously injured, or it may be impossible to get far enough away from passing traffic. That is why your focus should be on waiting for the police to arrive so they can complete a report on the crash.
Do not let the other driver try to convince you that you should not call the police. No one wants to get into an accident on vacation and wait around for the police, but if a crash causes an injury, drivers are required to call the police. This is also vital for your claim for compensation, as the insurance company may dispute what happened without a police report.
If it is possible to collect evidence, pictures of the scene can be very helpful. Take pictures of both vehicles, their position on the road, landmarks that help show where the accident happened, and anything else you think may be relevant.
If the other driver makes a cash offer, you should not accept it. The offer is unlikely to come anywhere close to covering your damages.
Call Galloway Jefcoat for Legal Help After a Crash
Out-of-state drivers often do not know where they are going, which often results in driving slowly and stopping frequently without much warning. These and other reckless actions could result in a crash with a Louisiana driver.
If this happens, you need a licensed attorney to help you navigate the complex legal process. Insurance companies often try to lowball or deny claims, even when it is clear the crash was caused by negligence.
Galloway Jefcoat has secured hundreds of millions for our clients and there are no upfront costs when we take a case. Our attorneys do not get paid unless you get paid.
Need legal help following a crash? Call Galloway Jefcoat: (337) 984-8020.