What If I’m Hit By a Truck and All Parties Are Out-of-State?
By Chris Dixon
If you are on vacation, a business trip, or another out-of-state event and you are hit by a truck, you could be eligible to recover damages. While it’s often easier to file a claim when only one state is involved, damages are still eligible to be recovered if all parties are out-of-state during the accident. An experienced attorney can guide your case and make this process more streamlined so you and your family have one less thing to worry about during this trying time.
Are Truck Accident Laws the Same For Every State?
Each state in the U.S. has its own set of traffic laws. Typically, if an accident happened in the home-state of the at-fault truck driver, your claim against the driver would be subjected to that state’s laws. However, if all parties involved in an accident are out-of-state, this can make the process more complicated. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2017 52 percent of deaths in truck accidents happened on major roads, while 32 percent occurred on interstates and freeways. Most truck accidents are caused by negligent driving behaviors such as driving under the influence and driver fatigue, which can often be exacerbated when driving on the highway or a major road that stretches on. If you are interested in filing a claim against the truck driver that hit you, an experienced lawyer can assess your case and create a plan for suing the driver out-of-state.
If I’m in a Truck Accident Where Both Drivers Are Out-of-State, What State Can I Sue In?
Federal and state laws designate and limit a courts’ jurisdiction. If you file a claim in the state that the accident happened in, even if neither party resides there, all states have federal “motorist” statutes that apply to accidents on the road. Motorist statutes allow courts to have the power to reach a verdict for a case, even if no one involved is a resident in that state. That being said, there are two types of jurisdiction that a court must have to use this power: personal and subject matter jurisdiction.
If you are hit by a truck out-of-state and want to file a claim, the state that you file with must have both types of jurisdiction to be valid. If the state is ineligible to make a decision regarding your case, you could file a claim against the truck driver in their home state. Under the “minimum contacts” theory, if you are injured in a truck accident, you can sue the company that the truck driver works for in the state the company is located in, has branches in, or has conducted business in while travelling. Filing a claim out-of-state can be overwhelming, but a knowledgeable lawyer can break it down for you and guide your claim to success.
What Damages Can I Recover If I’m Hit By A Truck and Both Drivers Are Out-of-State?
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but large truck accidents tend to cause severe injuries and damages. If you are hit by a truck and all parties involved are out-of-state, you could be eligible to claim damages such as:
- Medical Expenses – medical bills, medicine, medical accessories, and other out-of-pocket expenses caused by the accident
- Lost Wages – if you are unable to work while recovering or need physical therapy before you can work again, you could be eligible to claim lost wages
- Pain and Suffering – if you are hit by a truck, you likely sustained severe injuries. Injuries from a truck accident can cause depression, anxiety, PTSD, and an overall decrease in life satisfaction. If your injuries have caused mental or emotional distress, you could recover compensation for pain and suffering damages
- Property Damage – if your vehicle is totaled, needs repairs, or other expenses arose because of the accident, you could be eligible to receive reimbursement
It can be difficult to put a price on pain and suffering from an accident, but a knowledgeable attorney has the tools needed to calculate a settlement amount for your claim. Your attorney will determine the severity of your injuries, calculate your monetary expenses, and based on the severity of your injuries, come up with a realistic amount for your damages caused in the crash.
How Can A Lawyer Help With My Out-of-State Truck Accident Case?
Out-of-state truck accidents can be emotionally and physically draining. Some states require claims to be filed in person rather than being mailed, which requires time and money to travel. If this isn’t feasible, a lawyer can analyze your case, help you explore the available options, and create a plan for your case that doesn’t involve traveling out-of-state. For more information on what to do if you are hit by a truck and all parties are out-of-state, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today. Our attorneys offer free consultations and have helped countless truck accident victims recover compensation for their injuries.
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