While every car accident can be jarring, a crash occurring while you are out of state can feel especially overwhelming. Here are 4 costly mistakes that could ruin your out-of-state car crash claim:
(1) Failing to Treat Your Injuries
The most important thing you can do after any car accident is to treat your injuries. Right after a car crash, you may have adrenaline rushing through your body and not realize how badly you’ve been hurt. Hours or days pass and you realize you’ve been injured worse than you thought. You see a doctor, but lasting damage has been done and you may not fully recover.
On top of that, the other driver’s insurance company believes you weren’t hurt as badly as you claim because you didn’t visit the doctor right away after the crash. Or you mentioned at the crash scene that you felt fine.
No matter where you are when the accident occurs, go to the hospital or seek treatment as soon as possible. The best way to prove the extent of your injuries is to seek medical treatment immediately after the crash, and then keep attending doctors’ appointments until you are healed – or the doctor says you are as healed as you’re going to get.
If you don’t treat your injuries consistently and completely, the other side’s insurance company could argue you aren’t as injured as you claim.
(2) Failing to Report the Accident to Your Car Insurance Company
Most car insurance companies cover
all 50 states in America
, which means filing an insurance claim is generally the same as an in-state accident. You still need to report the crash to your insurance company like normal. Depending on your insurance carrier, they may assign you an adjuster from your area or the area where the accident occurred.
Because each state has different coverage limit requirements, the limits of your coverage may be different, depending on the state where the crash occurred. That’s one reason calling your insurance company is a must-do after a serious car accident.
Depending on the state where the accident occurs, there may be penalties If you fail to report the accident to your car insurance carrier. For example, the insurance company may deny you coverage under your Iowa policy or limit the amount of compensation you could collect.
(3) Failing to Follow the Laws of the State Where the Accident Occurred
Each state has different laws that apply to car crashes. This includes the amount of time you have to bring a lawsuit against the person who hurt you. This time limit is known as the
statute of limitations
In Iowa, you have 2 years from the date of the crash to settle your claim or file a lawsuit. This could be different depending on the state where your crash occurred and could be MUCH shorter.
If you are an Iowa resident that is injured in a car accident outside of Iowa, then you will need to follow the statute of limitations law in the state where your crash occurred. If you need to file a lawsuit, it will likely need to be filed in the state where you were injured.
This also means you will need to get a lawyer that is licensed in the state where you were injured.
(4) Failing to Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
You need to
contact an attorney
as soon as possible after you have been in an out-of-state accident. While your insurance claim may be more or less the same, the laws that govern each state are not. To get fair compensation for your car crash claim, you may need to speak to a lawyer licensed in the state where your accident occurred.
If you were injured in a car accident in Iowa, RSH Legal offers free, no-obligation case evaluations.
Call us today