What if I Am Injured by an Out-of-State Driver?
People visiting our state may not be familiar with the roads or the traffic laws, which can increase the risk of a crash. Out-of-state drivers are required to follow Nebraska laws, the same as any other driver. Nebraska is an at-fault state. If you are injured by a driver from out of state, the at-fault driver is responsible for your damages. The out-of-state driver’s insurance carrier should cover your losses up to policy limits.
How Do I File a Claim for Compensation?
If you have been injured and/or suffered property damage in a crash caused by an out-of-state driver, you usually have three options on how to proceed:
- File a claim with your own insurance company: If the losses you suffered are covered under your own auto insurance policy, you have the option to file a claim. Your insurer will likely pursue a subrogation claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- File a third-party claim: You can file a claim for damages directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court.
Are Out-of-State Drivers Required to Carry Car Insurance in Nebraska?
All drivers in Nebraska are required to carry liability auto insurance. The mandatory state coverage minimums are:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 property damage per crash
What if the Out-of-State Driver Who Hit Me Did Not Have Insurance?
If the driver who caused your collision was not carrying car insurance, you may be able to claim compensation under your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Drivers in Nebraska are legally required to carry this coverage. It is designed to pay for injuries and lost wages you or your passengers suffer if you are in a crash with an at-fault driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
What if I Have to File a Lawsuit Against the Out-of-State Driver Who Hit Me?
Bringing a personal injury claim can be more complicated when the at-fault driver is from out-of-state. Nebraska has a long-arm statute that allows courts to obtain personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant on the basis of certain acts, provided the defendant has a sufficient connection with Nebraska. One of the acts that allows courts to exercise personal jurisdiction is “causing tortious injury by an act or omission in this state,” as stated in the Nebraska statutes. You can force an out-of-state defendant to appear in a Nebraska court.
What If the Out-of-State Driver Was Not Familiar with Nebraska Laws?
Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and it is not a valid defense for out-of-state drivers who cause collisions. All drivers, including those from other states, are required to follow the rules that govern the roads of the state they are in. Regardless of whether they were familiar with Nebraska laws, they can be held liable for any traffic crash that results from their negligence.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I Have Been Injured by an Out-of-State Driver?
If you have been seriously hurt in a traffic crash caused by an out-of-state driver, your best chance of recovering full and fair compensation is to have an experienced Omaha auto accident attorney by your side. Most insurance companies will try to settle your case for a lower amount. They are in business for profit, after all. If your case goes to court, you will need an experienced legal professional in your corner.
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we are compassionate listeners and effective litigators. We can assess the full extent of your damages, negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf, and fight for your rights in the courtroom, if necessary. Call us at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free consultation if you have been injured by an out-of-state driver.
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