What Happens If I Live In One State But Get Hurt In Another?

You need a motor vehicle personal injury lawyer to claim compensation for injuries and losses incurred in out-of-state injuries. If you live in one state and get injured in another, the best option is often to sue in the state where the incident occurred. Crash victims have other alternatives, so it's crucial to review all options before deciding.

Hire a Motor Vehicle Personal Injury Lawyer

An accident can leave you needing prompt medical care, leaving minimum time to gather evidence and file your claims. Hiring a lawyer is key to successfully claiming deserved damages and losses. If you are not at fault for the accident, you should recoup all losses but will need irrefutable proof of innocence. An experienced lawyer can help you build a strong case.

Motor vehicle personal injury attorneys will handle evidence gathering, out-of-court meetings, court and legal representation, and paperwork. Working with a lawyer allows accident victims to focus on their recovery. Most don’t get paid until you win the case, so you can get the best treatment and recoup everything later.

Understand Your Options and State Jurisdictions

The first thing you should do after an accident is to seek medical help for injuries and contact the police. Next, you should involve a lawyer to explore your options as the situation develops. If you are hurt in another state, you can sue the at-fault driver in the state where the accident occurred. The local courts have jurisdiction over the incident and defendant.

Filling a claim in a state is only possible if the court has jurisdiction over your claims and the defendant. The easiest way to fulfill these demands is to file the compensation claim where the incident occurred. You can sue in your home state if the defendant has minimum contact with the state you live in. Minimum contact may arise if the defendant:

  • Is a person who maintains a home in your home state
  • Has a company doing business in your home state
  • Is a person/business party to a contract formed in your home state

Suing at-fault drivers in your home state is easier if the defendant avails themselves. Despite the distance inconveniences, some circumstances make it less stressful to sue in the state where you got hurt. Personal injury lawyers will explore all options and determine the best approach for the case. 

Identify What Laws Apply to Your Case

States handle car accident cases differently based on local presiding laws and standards. Some states like Kansas use a no-fault system, so you’ll have to claim compensation from your insurance carrier. In at-fault states like Missouri, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will settle claims and damages. Each state has unique laws and can impact your case significantly.


Fault laws, statutes of limitation, and comparative negligence rules all affect the court’s ruling. You can let the attorney worry about pursuing the laws and premises of making a claim. A trustworthy personal injury lawyer with experience in the state of the incident is the ideal candidate for the job. Your lawyer can also explain the applicable laws when building the case.

Choose the Right Court to File Your Claim

You can sue the at-fault driver in the state court or federal court. The priority is to get deserved compensation for all damages incurred in the incident. Federal courts typically handle matters between parties of diverse citizenships or from different states. They also handle cases dealing with federal law and constitutional rights. 


Nearly all cases filed with the federal court can be filed with the state court. Your injury lawyer will advise on which court is appropriate. The decision considers many factors, including your unique situation and conveniences, applicable laws, and expert attorney opinion. Whichever court you choose, you need adequate evidence to claim successfully. 

Steps to Take After an Accident Outside Your Home State

Accident victims have a right to recoup their losses regardless of where the accident occurs. If another party causes the accident, they are legally required to cover the injuries and damages. Depending on how good your lawyer is, you can claim medical bills, emotional distress, loss of income and consortium, and more.

1. Get Treated

The first step immediately after an accident doesn’t change whether the incident is in your neighborhood or another state. You need a medical assessment to begin treatment for bodily injuries. You can visit the nearest clinic to get a professional diagnosis and referral if necessary. A medical check is vital even if you suffer minor injuries. 

2. Contact Police

If you are conscious after the accident, you can contact local dispatch officers to the scene. Calling the police is a legal requirement, so you should not leave the accident location without informing authorities. The officer will take statements and reports your attorney may later use as evidence if the case goes to trial.

3. Gather Evidence

Accident victims should start collecting information at the accident scene as soon as possible. You can take photos, videos, and audio recordings of the scene using your phone. If possible, request the insurance details and identity of the at-fault driver. Remember not to share any information you gather on social media or with anyone else apart from your lawyer.

4. Get Financial Advice

Accidents resulting in bodily injuries can hurt your finances. You’ll need medical treatment and might not be able to go to work. Personal injury attorneys can help you recoup the medical bills and other damages, but only after the case is settled. You should get financial assistance and advice to handle emerging expenses and support your recovery as you file for compensation.

Working With Professional Counsel and Advisors

Accidents can happen to anyone at any time, in your home state or a foreign state. If you are not at fault, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you claim the deserved compensation. Insurance companies will downplay your injuries and damages to pay the least settlement. Working with an attorney gives you a better chance of recouping all losses incurred.


At Ping an Attorney, we connect injured individuals and parties to competent, experienced attorneys to help recover damages. We aim to provide instant access to professional legal counsel and free consultancy you can leverage to explore your options. The lawyers get paid when you win and receive your deserved compensation.

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