How to Handle Maryland Car Accidents with Out of State Drivers
January 22, 2021
Have you been in an accident with a vehicle that is from another state? While it is not all that common, it can be very off-putting, and panic can set in. So, what steps should you first take?
When involved with an accident with a vehicle from out of state, there are a few key steps to take while at the scene of the accident:
• Exchange insurance information with the other driver
• Take a photo of their license plate
• Call the police
• Take photos of the scene
• If there are witnesses, get their names and information
• Call your insurance company to inform them of the accident
• Do NOT admit fault
Auto insurance companies cover drivers throughout the United States, even as you cross state lines. If you reside in Virginia but get into an accident in Connecticut, your insurance should cover the damages caused. In most cases, courts recognize the law in effect in the jurisdiction where an accident takes place. Within the legal field, this concept falls under a doctrine called “lex loci delicti” or “law of the place where the delict [tort] was committed.” The bottom line is, if you experience a car accident involving an out-of-state driver within the state of Maryland, state laws do apply, and you can file the action in a Maryland court.
When filing a claim against an out-of-state driver, the process works the same as an in-state claim with one stipulation: an insurance adjuster may be inclined to use Maryland’s contributory negligence rule to reduce the damages owed.
As with many laws, some exceptions may exist. For a more detailed explanation of Maryland laws or how the law applies in your situation, discuss your case with a licensed personal injury attorney. If you are from Maryland or Washington, DC, and have questions about an accident with an out-of-state vehicle, contact Potter Burnett Law today for a free case evaluation.