Can I File a Claim After a Car Crash That Happens Outside Minnesota?
Car crashes can happen anywhere at any time because you never know when you may cross paths with a negligent driver. It could even happen while you are on vacation or driving out of state for some other reason, such as a business trip.
You may be unsure about how to pursue compensation after such a crash, particularly because Minnesota is a no-fault state and most other states are not.
If you have any questions after an out-of-state car crash, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced attorney. The Minneapolis-based auto accident lawyers at TSR Injury Law are prepared to help you pursue maximum compensation for your damages. Our firm has obtained more than $150 million in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Does My Insurance Policy Still Cover Me?
This is often one of the first questions victims have after an out-of-state car crash. The good news is if you have Minnesota auto coverage, it will apply everywhere in the U.S., and often in Canada. That means the coverage you have in Minnesota will be the same in another state, such as Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida or New York.
You will still be able to use your car insurance to recover Minnesota no fault benefits such as wage or medical bill compensation for your damages. However, the laws of the state where the crash happened also play a part. There are many examples of each state having different laws that can affect your right to make a claim. For example, the statute of limitations varies per state, or thresholds required to be compensated for pain and suffering, or the right for your auto insurance so subrogate against the at fault insurance carrier, to name a few. Because each state is different, we recommend speaking with a licensed attorney because an out-of-state accident claim could become quite complicated.
Which State’s Laws Govern the Claim?
Generally, the laws of the state where the crash happened governs the claim. That means if your crash happened in Wisconsin, your claim would be governed by Wisconsin tort law and not Minnesota tort law, but Minnesota no-fault laws would also apply. This is a particularly important distinction because Minnesota is a no-fault state and Wisconsin is not.
While there may be some disadvantages to this, there can also be some advantages. For example, in Minnesota you cannot file a lawsuit for car crash damages unless you suffered:
- $4,000 in medical expenses
- Miss 60 days of work or have
- Permanent injury, scarring or disfigurement
However, in tort states you generally do not have these limitations. That may make it easier to seek injury compensation. Back to our Wisconsin example, they do not require any thresholds for a pain and suffering claim.
Most states in the U.S. follow a tort system, including:
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
These states follow a no-fault system after car crashes:
- New York
- North Dakota
- New Jersey
What Should I do After an Out-of-State Car Crash?
You should handle it the same as if you were injured in a crash in Minnesota. Call the police and then, if you can do so safely, take pictures of the accident scene and talk to witnesses. You should also consider reaching out to an experienced attorney to represent you and protect your legal interests. Remember, insurance companies are a business first, so they often look for some way to deny or devalue your claim.
You need an attorney who has a track record of success and one who has previously handled claims involving crashes like yours.
Call TSR Injury Law Today to Learn More
You could greatly benefit from a free initial consultation with a licensed attorney following a car crash. Having an attorney on your side helps to ensure your best interests are protected throughout the legal process.
At TSR Injury Law, there is no risk in meeting with us. Not only is the consultation free, but there are also no fees while we work on you case. Our lawyers are not paid unless you get paid.
Give us a call today to learn more. Call (612) TSR-TIME.