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What Do I Do if I am Involved in an Accident in Another State?
The holidays call for seasonal cheer and holiday travel. We want you to stay safe this holiday season and to be able to reach your loved ones in a timely manner. However, increased traffic and winter weather increase the risks of a car accident. Car accidents are stressful enough but can be even more daunting if it occurs in another state. If you find yourself injured in a car accident in another state, here are some things that you should keep in mind.
Things You Should Always Do:
No matter what state your auto accident occurs in, there are a few things that are going to remain the same. Be sure to do the following, just like you would if you were in your home state:
Check for injuries on yourself, as well as on your passengers. You need to determine if you need medical care and to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Call the police. You will need to file a police report regardless of the severity of the accident.
Exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle, as well as any witnesses.
Take photographs of the accident scene, if you’re able to do so.
Call your insurance company to alert them about the accident.
Get in touch with a lawyer to help evaluate your rights.
Things to Consider About the State You’re In:
The state in which the accident occurred determines the laws applicable to your case. Depending on what state you’re from, you may be familiar with tort regulations or no-fault regulations. Tort insurance is a system in which drivers seek compensation from the other party that caused the accident.
On the other hand, there are also no-fault states. No-fault insurance is a system where drivers are required to purchase liability insurance. This liability insurance is used to cover their own and their passengers’ bodily injuries and property damage. The state that your accident occurs in makes a big difference in your auto accident case. If you have questions, speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer for clarification.
Personal Injury Claims vs. Lawsuits
While insurance claims can be filed and negotiated from anywhere, personal injury lawsuits are filed in the state in which the accident occurred. This means that the statute of limitations of that state will apply to the time you have to file a case. It is crucial that you file a case within the state’s timeline or you risk losing your claim. Consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to be able to discuss and file a lawsuit in a timely manner.
We hope that your holiday plans go smoothly, but things happen. If you find yourself injured due to an automobile accident in a different state, contact an experienced YD Injury Law accident attorney for help. You can work with a lawyer in the state where the accident occurred or if you prefer, you may elect to hire a lawyer in your home state who will collaborate with a lawyer in the state where the accident happened, often at no additional cost to you. We prioritize you and your safety.
December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
Early December marks the beginning of National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Impaired driving-related accidents often lead to serious injuries and can be fatal. Studies also show that around 10 million Americans drive impaired by illicit drugs. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that 13.2% of all people aged 16 or older drive under the influence while 4.3% drove under the influence of illicit drugs. Taking care of yourself and prompting responsible decision making to drive safely without being under the influence is crucial.
Historically, there have been higher cases of impaired driving during the winter months, specifically in December as it shows there is an increase in traffic fatalities around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. During the month of December, an average of 25 people are fatally injured in alcohol-impaired driving crashes per day. Young adults are at the highest risk group for driving impaired and were involved in more fatal crashes than any other age group. Protect yourself and your loved ones by making the decision to drive safely this holiday season and follow these tips.
5 TIPS FOR AVOIDING IMPAIRED DRIVING
1. PLAN A SAFE WAY TO GET HOME
Consuming alcohol dramatically impairs your ability to drive. Always plan ahead and never get behind the wheel while under the influence. Always avoid getting behind the wheel if you are experiencing symptoms of intoxication. If you are coming from a party, have a non-drinking friend as a designated driver, use an Uber or taxi, or make other plans to get home safely.
2. WATCH OUT FOR OTHERS
As the holidays approach, and we attend parties with one another, make sure to have everyone’s back. Do not let yourself or others put their life in jeopardy by driving under the influence. If someone has been drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel. Help arrange a sober ride home for them. Check up on them to make sure they get home safely.
3. AVOID GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL IF INTOXICATED
Always plan for alternate or public transportation when attending events that may result in drinking and never get behind the wheel. Do not drive if you are not in the proper mental state to do so. Call a taxi, an Uber, or even a sober friend to take you home instead.
4. BE A CARING HOST
If you are hosting the festivities where alcohol is involved, make sure that your guests have a way to get home. Ask them throughout the night if they have a way of getting home and if they need you to help organize one. It is better to be safe and prepared than allow them to get behind the wheel.
5. SAFETY FIRST
Obey the rules and buckle up. It is your best defense against impaired drivers and to stay vigilant of any reckless driving while you are on the road. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement and help keep the roads safe not only for you but for others as well.
Driving while under the influence can significantly increase the likelihood of causing an accident. With the holidays coming up, it should be a time of celebrations and not tragedies. Taking steps to ensure that you are capable of driving without being under the influence will keep you and others safe on the road. Injuries related to drunk or drugged driving can be fatal, resulting in life-long damages. If you or a loved one are injured in an impaired driving-related accident, YD Injury Law is here for you. It’s important to seek expert advice from an auto accident lawyer who has experience. Our extremely qualified auto-accident lawyers will advocate on your behalf to obtain full compensation for your injuries or loss.
How To Drive Safely During the California Winter
In Southern California, winter driving conditions usually mean rain. The state gets 90% of its annual precipitation from October through April, and half of California’s rainfall occurs from December through February. According to Mercury Insurance, nearly half (46%) of all weather-related car accidents are the result of rainfall. As such, we wanted to share some tips for driving in the rain.
Tip #1 – Slow Down
Vehicles are harder to handle in the rain, and speed can interfere with your tires’ traction. Slow down when the roads are wet and exercise extra caution. Far too many accidents occur because drivers fail to account for weather conditions.
Tip #2 – Beware the First Rain of the Season
When rain follows hot, dry spells, engine oil and grease are released and turn the road into an “automotive Slip ‘N Slide.” You should always be careful when driving in the rain but take additional care during the first rain of the season or any storm that occurs when it has not rained for a while.
Tip #3 – Avoid Standing Water
Puddles may not seem dangerous, but they can be deeper than they look and cover potholes and other hazards on the road. Additionally, driving through a puddle can reduce the effectiveness of your vehicle’s brakes and cause a splash, obscuring other drivers’ visibility. Standing water on the roadway can also cause you to hydroplane and lose control, so avoid driving through it whenever possible.
Sometimes, other vehicles displace standing water on the road and leave tracks. Driving in the tracks of the car in front of you is one strategy to avoid standing water, but make sure you’re not following too closely.
Tip #4 – Increase Your Following Distance
Tailgating is always dangerous, but it is an especially bad idea when there’s water on the road. Give the vehicles ahead of you plenty of space and start braking as soon as you see taillights or notice traffic is slowing down. Rainstorms can mean wet brakes, slick roads, and reduced visibility, so you want to give yourself extra time to stop and avoid slamming on the brakes and causing a skid, spin, or hydroplane.
Tip #5 – Know How to Handle a Hydroplane
If your car begins to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas, hold the wheel straight until your vehicle gains traction, and brake gently if needed. Do not brake hard or turn your steering wheel abruptly, as this could cause a skid or spin. In the event of a skid, keep both hands on the wheel and your foot off the gas, steering into the direction of the skid until you regain control.
Tip #6 – Stay Focused
You need all the control you can get when driving in the rain. This means you should have both hands on the steering wheel at all times – and that you should not use cruise control, which can cause you to accelerate when hydroplaning and interfere with your attentiveness.
Put your phone and all other distractions away when driving, especially in the rain. Cell phone use is illegal in many states, and texting and driving can quickly cause a fatal mistake.
Tip #7 – Maximize Visibility
If you cannot see well, you cannot drive safely. Keep your windshield wipers in good condition and get them checked before California’s rainy season. Turn on your wipers when the roads are wet and use your front and rear defrosters to defog your windows and maximize visibility. If it starts raining so heavily you cannot see clearly, pull over to a safe spot and wait for the storm to pass.
Tip # 8 – Prepare for the Worst
Even if you keep safety in mind during California’s rainy winters, other drivers may not. Keep a list of numbers you may want to call.
Rain and Out-of-State Travel Increases California Car Accidents
The winter months can make driving in Southern California particularly difficult. With rainy weather and out-of-state holiday travel, the roads can easily become slick, crowded, and hazardous. At YD Injury Law, we wanted to remind you to take extra care behind the wheel this holiday season and give you insights into why accidents increase in the winter.
More than half of California’s annual precipitation arrives in the 3-month period from December to February, and 90% of the state’s annual rainfall occurs between October 1 and April 30. According to USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism: “Drivers are 80% more likely to have an accident in the rain than during normal, clear conditions,” and wet weather leads to a 140% increase in the number of accidents on the road.
The most dangerous time to drive in wet conditions on California roadways is immediately after the first rain when the rain mixes with grease from cars and makes the asphalt slick. Additionally, many drivers fail to slow down to account for wet and rainy weather conditions, which causes more accidents outside of rush hour.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reveals that “the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year,” and about 91% of long-distance holiday travel occurs by car. These numbers indicate a more crowded roadway and a higher risk of car accidents for everyone on the road. In 2019, more than 104 million Americans took road trips and traffic congestion peaked on December 26th and 27th.
Fortunately, the “uptick in car crashes resulting in serious injury and death” that occurs during the holiday season can be prevented. The National Safety Council recommends practicing defensive driving, buckling up, and designating a sober driver for holiday parties, as well as getting plenty of sleep before road trips and driving attentively without distractions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has “Tips for Driving Safely This Holiday Season,” that drivers of all ages can utilize at any time of year.
Factors Beyond Your Control
Even if you drive safely and follow all the tips and tricks on this page, weather and negligent drivers are 2 factors of winter driving you cannot control. If you are harmed because someone fails to adjust to weather conditions, drive sober, or pay attention to their surroundings, you may be entitled to compensation.
Attorney Yasmine Djawadian, founder of YD Injury Law, can help you understand your rights and legal options after a winter crash or holiday car accident.
YD Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions
California is an at-fault state. What does that mean?
It means that the whoever is at fault for the car accident is liable for covering the damages and losses to the other party or parties. When the at-fault driver has insurance, which is required in California, his or her insurer must provide a settlement to those who were injured. Obtaining a settlement that is fair and that fully takes into consideration the magnitude of your injuries and losses can be difficult. Insurance companies like to settle quickly and cheaply. They will use tactics designed to get you to agree to a settlement that works for them, not for you. That is why you need an attorney.
What if the other driver didn’t have insurance?
All drivers are required to carry auto liability insurance. However, we know that all drivers do not comply with this law. When you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, all is not lost. You may be able to file a claim under your own insurance if you have an uninsured motorist clause for this purpose. This clause will then provide compensation once it is proven that the other driver was uninsured. Insurance companies are required to offer this option. Underinsured coverage is another option that covers you in cases where the at-fault driver had liability insurance but it was not enough to fully compensate you for the damages and losses you sustained. In both cases, you will be filing a claim with your insurer who will investigate the situation, determine liability, assess the damages, and resolve the matter. This is like any other claim wherein you must provide all necessary and supporting evidence. Having an attorney negotiate your case can make a difference in what you finally receive.
What types of compensation is available in a car accident claim?
Each case is different with its own set of circumstances. In general, what you can obtain will depend on the extent of your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and other factors. In general, the types of compensation that may be available include monies for all expenses related to your medical care from hospital stays to outpatient care, prescription medicines, medical equipment needed, physical and other required therapies, and long-term care where permanent injuries have been sustained. You may also be compensated for your pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages or income due to the inability to work, lost earning capacity if permanently disabled, and emotional trauma. YD Injury Law can identify the types and amounts of compensation that will apply to your claim so that you can seek recovery for their full extent.
Why not go at it alone and accept what the insurance company offers me?
This is not advised because insurance companies commonly offer lowball settlements designed to uphold their high profit margins. Additionally, your injuries may be more extensive and require more treatment that you can safely predict. With a low settlement, you may not be able to pay for long-term medical and other out-of-pocket expenses arising from your injuries long into the future.
What should I do right after an accident?
Remain as calm as possible. Call the police and 911 if you or anyone else has been hurt. You are also required to exchange identity and insurance information with the other driver. You should also get the identity of any witnesses to the accident. Merely state the facts. Take photos with your phone if you are able so that you have documentation of the scene. Write down any details of it that you can to further remind you of what happened. All of this can be useful in your claim.
Will it be necessary for me to go to court?
Most car accident claims are settled outside of court through negotiation with the insurance company. This is often a lengthy and detailed process. Only when the insurer refuses to offer a settlement amount that reflects the full value of your injuries and losses will litigation in court be necessary. At YD Injury Law, we are known for our persistence in pursuing a full and fair settlement. We are always prepared to go to court when it is in your best interests.
Why is it important to get medical treatment after an accident even if you feel okay?
The reason for this is because often injuries do not show up for days or weeks later. You may initially feel okay until these injuries begin to surface when you didn’t expect them, causing pain, discomfort, and putting you out of work. Medical professionals are trained to recognize this fact and can advise and treat accordingly. If you do not have these injuries addressed within a reasonable time period, you may lose the right to be compensated for your current and future medical expenses.
When you need the best San Diego Personal Injury Attorney contact the Law Offices of Yasmine Djawadian.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The testimonials shall not be construed as a prediction of a case outcome.