When a car accident involves an out-of-state driver, there are additional considerations injury victims must make. You may have many questions about how to recover compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and more. Which state’s laws will apply to your claim? What happens if the out-of-state driver doesn’t have auto insurance?
The attorneys at Saeedian Law Group are here to help you navigate the claims process. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by an out-of-state driver, you may be entitled to compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Contact Saeedian Law Group today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options.
Where Should I File a Lawsuit Against an Out-of-State Driver?
According to Code of Civil Procedure section 410.10, California courts have the right to exercise jurisdiction over out-of-state drivers and other nonresidents. California courts may exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident when the driver caused an accident in the state of California.
Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, you can still recover compensation from the out-of-state at-fault driver if you share some blame for causing the accident. Your compensation can be reduced by your percentage of fault, as determined by the court. Determining which laws apply to your case and where you should file your lawsuit can be complicated. The experienced attorneys at the Saeedian Law Group can help you understand your legal options and the best way to proceed with your claim.
Los Angeles Accidents Involving Negligence Per Se
Ignorance of California’s road rules isn’t a defense to a personal injury claim. When an out-of-state driver violates a safety law, he or she can be held responsible under a legal theory of negligence per se, also called negligence as a matter of law. When an out-of-state driver violates a traffic safety law, and the violation causes an accident that results in injuries, plaintiffs can hold the defendant liable through the doctrine of negligence per se under California law.
Bringing a lawsuit under the doctrine of negligence per se can be beneficial for plaintiffs because they will not need to prove the elements of duty and breach of duty. Instead, plaintiffs only need to prove they were damaged by the defendant’s violation of California traffic safety laws.
Pursuing Compensation When the Out-of-State Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance
Learning about the driver who caused your car accident and finding out whether he or she had insurance can be extremely frustrating. Unfortunately, this happens all the time in Los Angeles and throughout California. Out-of-state drivers may need more coverage than what California law requires. When a driver does not have auto insurance or doesn’t have enough auto insurance to cover your injuries, it’s crucial that you discuss your case with an attorney who can help you understand your options for obtaining compensation.
Filing a Claim for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Drivers are not required to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage under California law. However, some drivers purchase the coverage to their plan in case an uninsured or underinsured motorist injures them. You can buy uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and draw from your policy to cover your damages when the at-fault driver is uninsured. The amount of coverage you have depends on what amount you chose to purchase on your insurance policy.
If you file a claim with your insurance company, don’t assume they will give you a fair initial settlement offer. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses and will try to limit the amount they pay injury victims, even their own insured/customer. Your attorney can help you evaluate your case, determine the full and fair amount of your damages, and negotiate a beneficial insurance settlement amount.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Another option for recovering conversation is to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver. You’re right to sue the at-fault driver doesn’t depend on their insurance coverage or ability to pay you. You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in a California civil court even though they’re from another state and uninsured. However, you should ensure that the driver has enough assets to cover your expenses.
Additionally, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against another third party or the driver’s employer. For example, if the out-of-state driver who caused your accident was working as a driver for a trucking company, you may be able to pursue compensation from the trucking company. Plaintiffs can pursue economic and non-economic damages in personal injury lawsuits, including the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity due to disability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses in wrongful death cases
Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney Today For a Case Involving an Out-of-State Driver
At Saeedian Law Group, our experienced car accident attorneys understand how difficult it can be to recover from injuries caused by a car accident. We will work diligently with you to pursue compensation after an out-of-state driver causes your injuries. After investigating your case, we will work with you to develop a legal strategy to pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact our office today for a free consultation.