What Happens if You are Injured by an Out-of-State Driver?
What Happens if You are Injured by an Out-of-State Driver?

California is a popular travel destination. With that comes an increased possibility that California drivers could be involved in an accident with an out-of-state driver. What happens if you are injured in an accident caused by an out-of-state driver?

California Laws Apply to Out-of-State Drivers

First of all, California law on motor vehicle accidents applies regardless of where the driver who hit you is from. That means that parties must stop at the scene of the accident, and that you should call the police to the scene and ensure a police report is filed. If the accident resulted in an injury, death, or property damage in excess of $750, the California DMV must also be notified of the accident within 10 days.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving an Out-of-State Driver

If you are planning to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the out-of-state driver for your injuries, here are some things you should know about the process:

  1. California courts have the right to exercise jurisdiction over out-of-state drivers.
  2. Out-of-state drivers must have insurance that complies with California law. That means an out-of-state driver must have sufficient coverage or finances to pay for at least $15,000 per person injured or killed in an accident, at least $30,000 for injury or death to two or more people in an accident, and at least $5,000 for property damage. If the state where the driver resides has lower minimums, insurance companies generally extend the driver’s minimum liability coverage to match the minimum of the state where the accident occurred.
  3. Ignorance of California’s road laws is not a sufficient defense for an out-of-state driver who caused you injury. The driver can still be considered negligent for violating a road law, regardless of whether they are a California resident.
  4. It might be difficult to hold the out-of-state driver responsible for your injuries if they do not have sufficient insurance coverage, or coverage that is valid in California. If this problem arises, you may be able to pursue the defendant’s assets to cover your damages. You may also be able to receive compensation through the uninsured motorist coverage on your policy.

“Filing a personal injury lawsuit against an out-of-state driver is often more complicated. Thus, it is important to consult with a California personal injury before discussing the matter with the other driver’s insurance company or accepting a settlement,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, El Centro, and Yucca Valley, and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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