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What Happens If A New Yorker Gets into An Accident Out of State?

Car accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. Getting into a car wreck is always a rough experience, but getting into an accident while traveling out of state can make a bad situation even more stressful when you are in unfamiliar territory.

While you know that your New York car insurance coverage meets the minimum for any accident within New York, you may not know what happens if you’re involved in a wreck in New Jersey or even New Mexico, because each state has their own rules and regulations regarding auto insurance and minimum coverage.

The first thing to realize is that no matter how far away from home you are, you are most likely covered by your current New York auto insurance policy. This is because most automobile insurance policies cover all areas within the United States, the U.S. territories, and many also include Canadian provinces. This means you shouldn’t have an issue reporting claims that occur out of your home state of New York. But it always pays to check your policy’s territory limits before traveling, especially if you plan on traveling to another country.

While you are covered when traveling across state lines, you should be aware that the liability limits vary from state to state, and you are required to comply with the auto insurance requirements of the state you are traveling to, not the state you are originating from. Some insurance policies may not adjust to meet another state’s minimum legal requirements. What happens when your policy does not meet the minimum coverage requirements will depend a lot on the specifics of your case.

Furthermore, a handful of states use a no-fault insurance system like New York, where you seek compensation for any damages or injuries from your own insurance company. While other states use an at-fault system which allows the injured driver to seek compensation from the driver who caused the accident, which can be a lengthy and difficult process for both parties involved.

If you end up in a fender bender or a more serious car accident while traveling out of state, then the process for handling the accident is virtually the same. You should try to stay calm, remain at the scene of an accident, collect information from the other driver and contact info for any witnesses, take cell phone photos of the scene, and contact police and emergency services if necessary. You should also contact your insurance company’s claims department in order to report the details of the accident.

While theoretically the process should go smoothly, there are frequently instances where one of the insurance companies puts up a fight to comply with a claim involving out of state drivers. Since each state has its own laws regarding limitations and liability, it can be a complicated matter, especially when an insurance company is trying to protect its bottom line. In cases involving injuries and out of state accidents, it can be helpful to contact an experienced auto accident attorney to better understand how to proceed.

The experienced team at Greenberg & Stein has handled all manners of car accident cases for New Yorkers, including those involving accidents while traveling out of state. Having great legal representation is one of the best steps you can take following a car wreck in order to ensure that you receive the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, and more.

If you’re a New Yorker who has recently been involved in an accident, then now is the time to contact our car accident attorneys of Greenberg & Stein to discuss the details of your case and find out how we can be of help to you. Call us today at 888-411-3966 to schedule your free legal consultation.