Out-of-State Car Accidents During the Pandemic
Most insurance companies will provide coverage for car wrecks that occur out of state. However, it is always a good idea to check your insurance policy before traveling out of state, especially when interactions and medical care can become more complicated during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
What State Laws Impact Car Accident Claims?
Differences among state laws are particularly pertinent in the Washington D.C. area where drivers are frequently driving from one jurisdiction to another given the close proximity to Virginia and Maryland. It is important to know that each state has different car insurance liability minimums; therefore, most insurance companies automatically increase your minimum to meet the requirements of that state.
Additionally, if your car is damaged in an out-of-state accident caused by a driver that is out of that state, it may be a more complex process to get your damage repair costs covered by your insurance company. It may depend on whether the other driver had adequate insurance and whether the other driver had insurance at all.
If you are injured in a car accident that occurs outside of your home state, any personal injury claims will be subject to the statute of limitations of that particular state. That means that if you wait too long, the time in which the law allows you to file a lawsuit could pass.
A small handful of states have some version of a no-fault law in place. This means that no matter who was at fault during the accident, your insurance company will pay either all or some portion of your medical bills and lost earnings. Some states allow drives to opt-out of this type of coverage, so it cannot be determined at the scene of an accident which insurance company will be responsible for repairs and medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault. It is always best not to admit fault at the scene of the accident.
What Are the Risks During COVID-19?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, drivers have additional concerns of being exposed to contagious diseases after a car accident occurs. It is advisable to call the police after an accident and this could put you at additional risk for contracting COVID-19. Drivers who choose to sue for pain and suffering, and the state law permits that claim, they could also include in that suit any panic they experienced related to the possibility of contracting COVID-19. Drivers could also claim they potentially contracted the disease because of the car accident.
Finding potential witnesses to the accident, taking pictures, and interacting with the other drivers involved in the accident can put you and your passengers at risk for contracting contagions. Even if injuries related to the accident are mild, those involved in the accident may find it necessary to call paramedics and go to the emergency room. Both of these scenarios could put those involved in the accident at further risk of contracting COVID-19.
The rules of the steps to take after a car accident do not change as a result of the pandemic, but now drivers must take further precautions. Drivers should wear masks while interacting with others, and keep at least six feet away from others in the aftermath of the accident, if possible.
If you are involved in an accident, it is best to seek legal advice immediately. A knowledgeable lawyer will help you with your car accident case.
Washington, D.C. Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Can Assist With Your Out-of-State Car Accident
If you are suffering from injuries as a result of an out-of-state car accident, our respected Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King are here to help navigate which state laws apply. We can help you understand exactly what damages you may be able to recover. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., we serve clients throughout Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.