What to Do If the Accident Was Caused By an Out-of-State Driver
Every year, thousands of tourists visit Kansas City from out of state. If you get into a car accident with one of these drivers, the insurance claim process will look a little different. You will have additional considerations, such as whether the out-of-state driver is subject to the laws in your state or the state where he or she is from. Pursuing fair compensation after an accident with an out-of-state driver may take assistance from an attorney.
Which Laws Apply to an Out-of-State Driver?
The main question after a collision with an out-of-state driver is which state’s laws apply. Every driver in Missouri is subject to Missouri’s fault-based insurance law, while every driver in Kansas must carry no-fault insurance. How you handle an insurance claim usually depends on the law in your state. An out-of-state driver, however, will be subject to the insurance laws in the state where he or she is licensed.
The out-of-state driver will not be bound by your state’s insurance requirements, even if the motor vehicle accident occurred in your state. You will need to understand the insurance laws where the driver is from. There are two different types of insurance systems: fault and no-fault. If the driver is from a fault state, the party at fault for the accident will be liable for damages. Filing a fault claim with the other driver’s insurance company will require proof of that driver’s negligence or error, such as texting while driving. The other driver’s insurance company will only provide benefits if you can prove the driver is to blame for the wreck.
If the out-of-state driver is licensed in a no-fault state, you will each seek compensation from your own auto insurance providers, regardless of fault. The rules in a no-fault state limit the right to bring a third-party claim only to situations involving serious injuries. These are injuries that cause long-term or permanent disabilities, disfigurement or scarring. You will not need to prove the other driver’s fault or negligence to receive benefits with a first-party insurance claim.
An out-of-state driver may not have to follow your state’s insurance rules, but he or she will need to obey traffic laws and crash reporting requirements. Anyone driving in Kansas City, including out-of-state drivers, must obey posted signs, speed limits and other traffic laws. In the event of an accident, the driver must report the crash to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state where the accident happened if it resulted in injuries, deaths or expensive property damage.
What to Do After an Accident With an Out-of-State Driver
If you get into a car accident with an out-of-state driver in Kansas City, remain calm and call 911. Telling the police about the accident can create an official record. Do not admit fault for the crash to the other driver or police officer. Collect the other driver’s information, including his or her name, phone number and insurance information. Capture photographs of the crash scene, if you can. Then, go to the nearest hospital for medical care.
Call your own car insurance company to make an initial report. Explain that the other driver is from out of state. Your insurance company can help you with the claims process. It may pay for your losses initially, then seek reimbursement from the other party’s insurance company, for example. Do not accept an insurance settlement from anyone’s provider, however, until you have spoken to an attorney.
Legally, the other driver must carry at least the minimum required insurance amounts in the state where he or she is driving. Ignorance of this law is not a usable defense to liability. Before you accept less than your injuries and losses demand, consult with an attorney about your rights. You may need a lawyer’s assistance to hold an out-of-state driver accountable for your losses.