Thousands travel throughout The Volunteer State each day — whether they live in Tennessee or not. With so many people driving on the roads accidents are bound to happen. But what are drivers supposed to do if they visit Tennessee and happen to get into a crash while on their trip?
Out-Of-State Car Accidents
There are two key factors to consider when involved in an out-of-state car accident — where do you file an insurance claim and if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit.
As with any accident, it’s imperative to make sure everyone is OK after a crash occurs. Take care of calling local authorities if someone is injured and then deal with the task at hand of documenting the crash.
Filing An Insurance Claim
Throughout the U.S., you are covered no matter where you get into an accident. If you live in North Carolina but get into an accident in Tennessee, your car insurance will protect you. Same as if you live in Tennessee and the other driver is from Virginia, then you are covered by your car insurance.
Keep these tips in mind to help your insurance claim process be as seamless as possible:
- Get a Police Report — whether someone is injured or not, having a police report can make all the difference when it comes to validating your insurance claim. Police are there to serve as a non-committed third party to document what happened officially. Having a police report can also help your insurance company if the other party fights the claims.
- Take Pictures — another piece of evidence that can help insurance companies is photographic evidence. If police officers on the scene are not taking pictures, make sure you take pictures of all vehicles involved from all sides. This will again give your insurance company what they need should the other party make a false claim.
- Keep All Information Regarding the Accident Together — between police information, requests from your insurance company, and any potential medical bills, it’s important to have a folder or other area where all information about the accident is kept together. This will make it easier if you need to find this documentation later on.
Person Injury Lawsuit
Unfortunately, some accidents are more serious than others and someone is injured in the accident. Should the accident be more severe and you need to file a lawsuit, keep the following in mind:
- Where to File the Lawsuit: A personal injury lawsuit involving an out-of-state car accident can be filed in one of two states — where the defendant lives or where the car accident occurred. This could be inconvenient for out-of-state drivers should they get into a crash while visiting a state and may not easily be able to come back to the state where the accident occurred.
- Does It Matter If I File in a Different State: Absolutely. This is when an experienced lawyer could help you determine the best course of action. Each state has its own set of rules and laws. When filing a personal injury lawsuit, you want to make sure the state you’re filing in will be the one that gives you the best outcome possible.
- Statute of Limitations: If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit in Tennessee, you need to be aware of the state’s statute of limitations or the expiration of time for when you can file a lawsuit. According to Tennessee Code 28-3-104, a person filing a personal injury lawsuit as a result of a crash has one year to file charges against the person who allegedly caused the accident. If the crash is tragically fatal, the same statute applies if there is a wrongful death lawsuit filed.
Even if you feel like immediately following the crash you may not want to file a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to give yourself enough time to see how you feel in the weeks and months following the crash and take action right away should you change your mind.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, whether while visiting Tennessee or if you’re a resident of the state, the team at Meade Law Group can help. Reach out to our experienced attorneys today to review your case during a free consultation — (423) 464-7779.