What Should You Do if You Are in a Car Accident While on Vacation in Another State

An increasing number of visitors from outside of Pennsylvania come to Pittsburgh to enjoy the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, to take in a Pirates game at PNC Park, to enjoy the amusements at Kennywood Park, or to explore the exhibits at the Carnegie Science Center.

Others head southeast of Pittsburgh to the architectural wonder of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. As enjoyable as these attractions may be, they do bring increased highway traffic and a higher risk of accidents among residents from different states. Both out of state visitors as well as Pennsylvanians who travel to other destinations might find themselves asking the same question: what should they do if they are in a car accident while on vacation in another state?

A Pittsburgh car accident attorney at Chaffin Luhana can represent Pennsylvania residents as well as out-of-state visitors whose vacations have been cut short. In either case, we help injured parties to recover the largest available damages awards to compensate them for injuries they have suffered in those accidents.

Collect and Exchange Information About the Accident

Just as you would in an accident in your home state, exchange contact and other information with the driver of the other car, including:

  • the driver’s license information;
  • the make, model, and registration information for the other vehicle;
  • insurance information;
  • names and addresses of all occupants of all vehicles involved.

Also, take photographs of the accident scene and note the time of day, weather, and traffic conditions at the time of the accident. Get contact information from any witnesses who may have seen the crash as it happened, and call local police or file an accident report at a nearby police station. If you have been injured and are unable to collect and exchange this information, ask another person for assistance.

Report the Accident to Your Own Insurance Company

Call your insurance company’s accident report line to open a case for your accident. The other driver will likely do the same. You should only speak to your own insurer about the accident. Anything you say to the other driver’s insurance might come back to haunt you in subsequent negotiations over damages and compensation.

Call your insurer even if you were in a rental car at the time of the accident and you procured supplemental coverage from the car rental agency.  Your insurer should guide your interactions with that rental agency.

The Laws of the State Where the Accident Occurred Will Apply

 If your accident happened around Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, your opportunity to recover damages will be governed by the State’s “choice” no-fault car insurance rules and regulations. This means that you will need to seek recovery of damages for your injuries from your car and personal injury insurance policies.

If you satisfy certain conditions, you can step outside of these rules and file an action to recover your damages directly from the negligent driver that caused the accident. Contact an experienced Pennsylvania auto accident attorney if you have questions about the State’s no-fault rules.

If your accident occurred outside of Pennsylvania, keep in mind that the laws of the State in which the accident happened will always govern your opportunity to recover damages for your injuries. Your local Pennsylvania attorney can also assist you in understanding accident rules and regulations in different states.

Call Chaffin Luhana to Recover Damages for Out-Of-State Car Accidents

An out-of-state car accident might put a damper on your vacation, but you should not let that ruin your opportunity to recover the most significant damages award that may be available. Chaffin Luhana’s Pittsburgh car accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help you understand how other states’ laws will affect the recovery of your damages, and to negotiate with insurance companies that only offer nominal compensation for your injuries.

Please see our website or call our Pittsburgh offices for more information on what you can do if you are in a car accident while on vacation outside of your home state.

Additional Resources:

  1. safeauto.com: What Happens if I Get Into a Car Accident Out-of-State? http://blog.safeauto.com/what-happens-if-i-get-into-a-car-accident-out-of-state/
  2. goog2go.com: Handling an Out of State Car Accident. https://www.good2go.com/blog/handling-an-out-of-state-car-accident/