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What Happens When You’re in a Car Accident in Another State?

AAA projects 50.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Fourth of July, setting a new record for the holiday. Domestic travel over the long weekend will increase by 2.1 million people compared to 2022. This year’s projection surpasses the previous July 4th weekend record set in 2019 of 49 million travelers. Many of the trips will be across state lines.

One of the worst feelings in the world is getting into a car accident. And, if you get into a car accident in another state, the feeling of getting into an accident in unfamiliar territory can make a bad situation even worse.

No Matter Where Your Accident Occurs, Do These Things

Whether you are involved in an accident just minutes from home or you’re in car accident in another state, there are several critical steps you need to take in the moments and days following the accident, such as:

  • Call the police
  • Take pictures of the scene
  • File a police report
  • Get names of witnesses
  • Notify your insurance company
  • Never admit fault

If an Accident Happens

Some traffic laws differ from state to state. But, generally speaking, there is a seamless transition of traffic laws on interstate highways. So what happens when you’re in a car accident in another state? Are you governed by the state where your accident happens? Or are you governed by the state where you are a resident? Who should you call for help?

The first thing to be aware of is when you get in an accident, your car insurance will cover you no matter what state you’re in when the accident occurs. Most auto policies provide coverage in any state in the U.S., as well as any territory or possession of the U.S. and any province or territory of Canada.

You will be required by the state in which you are driving to comply with all car insurance requirements for that state, not the state in which you live. But rest assured. Car insurance companies have worked this out and you will be ok.

The bottom line: As long as you have sufficient auto insurance and your claim falls within the guidelines of your policy (not the insurance laws of the state where the accident occurred), you shouldn’t have any trouble receiving compensation — regardless of where your travels take you.

Be safe and enjoy your holiday!