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By Pejman Javaheri
Founding Partner

Being involved in a traffic accident is stressful. In many cases, accident victims have an uphill battle with insurance companies to receive a fair accident settlement. However, when an out-of-state driver hits you, it might feel as if things become more complicated. If a driver from out-of-state hits you, talk with a Los Angeles car accident attorney about your options to recover compensation for property damage and personal injury.

Report Car Accidents in California 

All drivers must follow California traffic laws regarding accidents. The law requires drivers to stop at the accident scene to exchange information with other drivers. If someone was injured or killed, the drivers must report the accident to the police within 24 hours. Accidents resulting in property damage of $1,000 or more must also be reported. Calling 911 from the accident scene is typically the best way to handle the matter to ensure you comply with the law and protect your rights. 

Additionally, drivers have ten days to file an accident report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV uses Form SR-1 to report traffic accidents. The form is available online.

Out-of-state drivers must obey the law for reporting car accidents in Los Angeles, CA.

Is There a Difference in Filing an Insurance Claim Against an Out-of-State Driver in Los Angeles, CA?

California requires drivers to have minimum amounts of liability insurance for automobiles. Liability insurance pays damages to accident victims when a driver causes an accident. Out-of-state drivers are required to have liability insurance that complies with California law. 

Therefore, if an out-of-state driver causes your accident, you can file an insurance claim with the driver’s insurance provider. It does not matter if the insurance company is in another state or the driver lives in another state. If the driver caused the crash, the insurance company should pay the claim. 

Unfortunately, insurance companies do not like to pay claims. They deny and undervalue claims to avoid paying money to accident victims. Therefore, it is crucial to remember the basic steps to protect your right to fair compensation after an accident:

  • Call 911 to report the crash
  • Do not admit liability or accept responsibility for causing or contributing to the cause of the crash
  • Gather evidence at the accident scene by taking photographs, making a video, and asking eyewitnesses for their information
  • Seek medical treatment immediately to document your injuries
  • Be cautious when talking with an insurance adjuster because the statements you make could be used against you
  • Contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer as soon as possible for advice

You are not obligated to accept a settlement offer for a car accident from an insurance company. You can negotiate for a higher settlement amount. Talking with a lawyer before signing documents or accepting a settlement agreement after a car crash is best. Your case could be worth much more than the company offers for settlement.

What Happens if I Need to Sue an Out-of-State Driver for a Los Angeles Car Accident?

California Civil Code of Procedure §410.10 gives California courts jurisdiction over matters not inconsistent with the United States Constitution or the California State Constitution. Therefore, if a crash occurred in California, the courts should have jurisdiction over the matter. 

If an insurance company refuses to investigate and process a claim or delays the claims, call a lawyer to discuss whether you need to file a lawsuit against an out-of-state driver. Missing the statute of limitations to file a car accident lawsuit could result in losing your rights to pursue a claim in court. 

Call Us for a Free Consultation With Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney 

Personal injury cases involving out-of-state drivers can be challenging to pursue. Our legal team pursues all potential sources of compensation to maximize the amount you receive for injuries and damages. Contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney. 

About the Author
P.J. Javaheri is an experienced personal injury attorney and a founding partner of Mi Abogado. Mr. Javaheri received his Juris Degree from the University of California, Hastings in 2005. Mr. Javaheri is dedicated to serving clients in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. His practice focuses on the area of personal injury law, particularly in representing people who have been injured in car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents, the practice also specializes in premises liability matters. In recognition of his skills and dedication to his vocation, Javaheri has been named on the California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Mr. Javaheri is also active in the Consumer Attorneys of California and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.  In 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, Mr. Javaheri was honored with appointments to the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Charities (LATLC) Honorary Board of Directors at its highest level; the Diamond Level. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Mr. Javaheri at 310.694.3084 or by emailing contact@miabogado.com.