Car accidents are a common occurrence throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season. From inclement weather conditions to drunk driving and out-of-state drivers who are unfamiliar with the roads, it is no wonder why we see an increase in accidents November through January. In the event you have been involved in a car accident with a driver from another state, it can be difficult to know how to proceed. Car accidents are stressful no matter what the circumstances are, but this is especially true when the at-fault driver is from out-of-state. Regulations and laws vary from state to state when it comes to where responsibility lies and how the insurance process works following a car accident. With this in mind, it is important that you take the time to understand your state’s laws pertaining to an accident with a visiting driver.
Furthermore, if you are injured in a different state from where you live, you are probably wondering how your insurance fits in. This is why it is imperative that you have an experienced auto accident attorney by your side. Today we are going to go over a few of the most common laws pertaining to accidents with out-of-state drivers and how you should proceed. If you have been injured in a car accident while visiting Oklahoma or are an Oklahoma resident who is involved in an accident while out-of-state, contact Atkins & Markoff today. We will be able to discuss the laws specific to our state and residents with you and help you proceed with seeking damages and compensation, as well as dealing with the insurance company.
Understanding the Different State Laws
It is important to keep in mind that the laws of the state in which your car accident takes place will govern any cases or claims. This means that, in the event you are from Texas and are injured in a car accident in Oklahoma, Oklahoma law will determine how the case proceeds. The majority of states (including Oklahoma) are at-fault states, which means that drivers face financial liability for all accidents they are responsible for. In a nutshell, whoever caused the accident is responsible for damages. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Some states follow a different set of rules than the “at-fault” rule. Let’s now go over these different terms:
- Pure Comparative Fault – In states that adhere to this method, an injured driver can collect damages from the at-fault driver, even if he or she had a role in the accident
- Modified Comparative Fault – In states that follow this method, the injured driver must be less than 50% responsible for the accident in order to receive damages or compensation
- Contributory Negligence – In states that follow this method, if the injured driver had any role in the accident (even just 1%) they cannot collect damages
- No-Fault States – Approximately a dozen states have “no-fault” insurance laws, meaning the insurance company is involved immediately and you are required to carry some sort of personal injury protection coverage
The majority of insurance policies cover drivers when they are traveling elsewhere in the United States. Be sure and check with your provider to make sure this is the case. If you have been injured by an out-of-state driver or are visiting another state as an Oklahoma resident, we encourage you to contact Atkins & Markoff today so that we can discuss your case.