rights when injured in another state

Interstate road trips full of mishaps are endlessly entertaining when they are fictional. It is the detours, vehicle malfunctions, and unexpected encounters with weirdos that give National Lampoon’s Vacation and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles their entertainment value. In real life, though, car accidents are even more stressful when they happen out of state. Beyond the added emotional stress of not just being able to go straight to your familiar home, your family doctor, or your trusted auto mechanic right after the accident, car accidents that take place outside your home state involve some more complicated legal issues than you would encounter if you got into a fender bender in the parking lot of your neighborhood supermarket. A personal injury lawyer can help you figure outwhat to do if you, as an Arizona resident, are injured in a car accident outside of Arizona.

Do Not Be Insurance-Poor

The good news is that, as long as you have car insurance, you will not be left completely high and dry when it comes to paying for damage caused by the accident. Many insurance policies will cover you no matter where you are driving. If you are renting a car during your out of state travel, you should also purchase the additional insurance the rental car company offers you; the more insurance, the better.

When Insurance is Not Enough

Of course, if the accident involves serious injuries, it may not be enough for your insurance company and that of the other driver to straighten things out among themselves. After the accident, the insurance company will send you a letter with a settlement offer. Do not sign it without consulting a personal injury attorney. If you sign it, you waive your right to file a lawsuit requesting compensatory damages for the injuries you sustained in the accident. No matter where the accident took place, consult a lawyer in your home state before you accept the settlement offer.

A Question of Jurisdiction

If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of accepting the settlement offered by the insurance company, it is not always easy to determine where you should file the lawsuit. Many times, the state where the accident happened is the one that has jurisdiction to hear the lawsuit.  When a court has jurisdiction, it means that the court has the authority to make legally binding decisions related to a certain matter. A personal injury lawyer in your home state of Arizona can give you the best advice as to how to proceed.

Contact Eric Schmidt About Personal Injury Cases

If you were injured in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation, whether or not the accident took place in Arizona. It is important to determine whether the money the insurance company is offering you is sufficient before you waive your right to file a lawsuit. Eric Schmidt is a personal injury lawyer licensed to represent clients in Arizona and California. Contact Eric Schmidt in Phoenix, Arizona to see if you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.