Here in the Northeast, it doesn’t take long to drive from one state to the next. You can start out in Connecticut and be in New York, Rhode Island or any of several other states in no time. So it’s no surprise that Connecticut residents are sometimes involved in auto accidents in another state. When an out-of-state crash leaves you injured, you may need to take extra steps to obtain the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Some post-accident steps are the same even though the crash happened out of state. You should take photos of the accident scene with your phone and get the names and contact information of the other car’s driver and any witnesses. Also, get the other driver’s insurance information and vehicle information (make, model and VIN if possible). If you are hurt, you should visit a doctor near the scene to get immediate medical attention, although you certainly can visit your own doctor when you return home.
Most auto insurance policies apply across the U.S., so your insurance coverage protects you no matter what state you’re in at the time of the accident. You can report the accident to the insurance company without expecting any complications. And, unless the car is a total loss, the insurance company will likely cover repairs at a shop near where the accident happened.
If insurance is not sufficient to cover your medical expenses and related costs, you might need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. The case may have to be filed in the state where the accident occurred. State laws differ as to when an accident victim can receive compensation from another party and in what amount. Northeastern states follow these compensation schemes, which often lead to different outcomes:
Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont follow the modified comparative fault rule, which allows an injured person to recover partial compensation so long as he or she is determined to be 50 percent or less at fault.
New York and Rhode Island follow the pure comparative fault rule, which means an injured person can sue for partial damages even if the injured person was 99 percent at fault.
Maryland, D.C. and Virginia follow the pure contributory negligence rule, which bars recovery completely if the injured person was at fault at all, even 1 percent.
If you are a Connecticut resident and were injured in another state, you should talk to a Connecticut injury attorney first. A Connecticut lawyer will often be able to handle most of the claims work and then, if required, contact and coordinate with an attorney in the state where the accident occurred.
At Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. in Hamden and East Haven, our lawyers represent Connecticut drivers who get hurt in car accidents in other states. Call 203-745-0942 or contact us online to speak with an attorney in our Hamden or East Haven offices.
Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. is located in Hamden, CT and serves clients in and around North Haven, Hamden, Waterbury, Bethany, Milford, Wallingford, Prospect, Woodbridge, Northford, Madison, Beacon Falls, Branford, Cheshire, North Branford, East Haven, Naugatuck, Meriden, Ansonia and New Haven County.
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