Car accidents are an unfortunate part of driving. Luckily, most crashes are no more than fender-benders with only minor or no injuries. However, there are times when a car wreck is a devastating event, resulting in catastrophic and life-changing injuries. An innocent accident victim should not bear the burden of expensive medical bills and other costs if the crash was not their fault. Fortunately, accident victims can sue to recover their damages. If you are a resident of another state, you still have the right to pursue a civil claim – there are just some additional challenges present.
If you are involved in an out-of-state car accident, there will be questions regarding jurisdiction, venue, and the applicable law. it is vital to have a local and experienced car accident attorney. You should not hesitate to contact our Baltimore car accident lawyers, especially if the other driver was from out of state as well.
Cars allow us to travel throughout the continental states. When people are crisscrossing the country, accidents are bound to happen outside your home state. If you are hurt in a crash but reside in another state, you need to call a local attorney. the skilled Maryland car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras have been providing professional legal representation to Maryland residents and out-of-state drivers for decades. Call our law offices at (410) 694-7291.
Conflict of Laws After a Car Accident Involving an Out of State Driver
If you are involved in a car accident in another state, many complicated rules regarding jurisdiction, venue, and other issues come into play. Commonly called “Conflict of Laws,” these governing rules also dictate which state’s laws will apply. Depending on the state, this could significantly impact your case.
A basic legal principle is that the laws of the state where the accident occurred will be the laws that are applied in any dispute. Therefore, if you are a resident of New Jersey, Delaware, or one of the surrounding states and are involved in an accident in Maryland, the state’s laws will govern any personal injury claim. In some situations, this could be an issue if you do not have knowledgeable local counsel. For example, Maryland follows the legal doctrine known as “contributory negligence” when determining fault in a car accident claim or any other personal injury. Under this doctrine, if you contributed to the accident, even if you were only 2% at fault, you would be prohibited from receiving any monetary damages from the other driver. If you are from New Jersey and retain an attorney from your state, they might not understand the challenges presented by this doctrine. Therefore, it is vital to call our experienced Ocean City car accident lawyers.
In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit could be filed in the state where the at-fault driver resides. For example, imagine you were involved in an accident while traveling in Pennsylvania. In this situation, you were mostly to blame, but the other driver also contributed to the crash. the other driver’s attorney would probably want the case to be adjudicated in Pennsylvania. However, knowing Maryland’s harsh contributory negligence laws, our experienced car accident lawyers could try to have the case heard in Maryland to limit your potential liability.
What to do if You Reside in Another State and are in an accident in Maryland
There are some things you should do immediately following any car accident. However, if you are from out of state or are involved in an accident with an out-of-state driver, there are some additional precautions you should take to protect your legal rights.
You need to call the local police. it is crucial to have a police report if you are a resident of another state. An accident report will be a vital source of important information.
Photographs are another source of critical evidence in a car crash. If you are from out of state and not familiar with the area where the accident occurred, pictures will help you remember what happened weeks or months after the incident. Be sure to take photos of the damaged vehicles and the surrounding scene. You can never take too many.
Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses. While their information might appear in the police report, it is also possible that an important witness will leave the accident scene before the police arrive. This might be your only opportunity to collect statements that corroborate your version of the accident.
You should always seek medical treatment after an accident. If you reside in another state, you might want to immediately go to an emergency room or leave in an ambulance. You want to protect your health and your legal rights. Medical documentation is a key component in any personal injury lawsuit or insurance settlement negotiation. If you wait until you return to your home state, especially if it takes a couple of days, an aggressive defense attorney or insurance adjuster will argue that your injuries were not serious or were the result of an intervening event.
Contact Our Local Maryland Car Accident Attorneys if You Were an Out of State Resident Involved in a Crash in Maryland
Cars provide a means to travel all over the county. If you are traveling through Maryland and are involved in an accident, it is critical to have an experienced attorney representing you. Maryland law will likely govern your case and its contributory negligence doctrine could derail an attorney who is not familiar with its challenges. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our skilled Towson car accident lawyers and staff understand the difficulties presented by even the most straightforward case. To help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, call our law offices at (410) 694-7291.