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Road Trip Troubles: Handling Out of State Accidents

Summer travel is synonymous with road trips. As the summer winds down, many Illinoisans hit the open road to enjoy one last adventure. But because of increased traffic, road construction, and common distractions, summer also tends to see an increase in auto accidents. Accidents are inconvenient at any time and any place but even more so when you’re out of state. Not only do you need to file a claim, but also you may be far from home and unfamiliar with the driving laws in that state. To deal with an out of state auto accident, follow these simple steps:

Contact your insurance agency to open a claim. You will be assigned an adjuster who will then inform you of what to do next. The claims process for an out of state accident can vary from provider to provider, so this should be your first step after helping others at the scene of the accident and reporting the accident to the authorities. Your adjuster can also brief you on your policy benefits, such as rental car allowances and towing.

Next, understand that your accident will be handled under that particular state’s jurisdiction, not necessarily your state of residence. This is important to remember because each state’s laws vary regarding issues such as liability and insurance minimums, which can complicate your case. Ideally, you would briefly familiarize yourself with the laws in the state(s) you plan on driving through and potentially talk to your insurance provider about adjusting your coverage to ensure you will meet that state’s minimum requirement. This can be a lot of legwork, especially if you are planning on driving straight through some states but know that many states have minimum insurance requirements that exceed those in Illinois.

You should also call an attorney. An experienced Arlington Heights auto accident attorney can help you understand how the laws in the state of your accident could affect your claim and your right to compensation. Although these types of cases can be a little more complex due to the jurisdiction, a good attorney can advise you on how to file a claim and seek the compensation you deserve.

Don’t let the risk of an accident spoil your road trip. This country is meant to be explored! Just make sure you keep a few safety tips in mind such as keeping your car well maintained and in road trip shape and reducing your distractions by leaving the navigation to someone else and keeping kids occupied in the back. These steps can help you stay safe on the road, so you can enjoy your trip.

Filing an insurance claim can be confusing, but Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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