car lights streaked on a highway


On Behalf of Diehl & Hubbell, Attorneys at Law Jan. 6, 2021

After suffering a car accident, you will likely be reeling with shock and overwhelmed with potential injury and damages. When this happens out of your home state, you face additional complications to your claims process for both car repairs and injury compensation. One of the biggest questions is where to file your claim if out of town after a collision.

Where to File Your Accident Claim?

Despite states having different laws regarding claims, insurance companies maintain similar filing procedures regardless of where you were when the accident occurred. While insurance liability limits do vary from state to state, the circumstances of your accident may play a larger role in how to file your claim. The best way to determine your compensation options is to speak with a car accident attorney who has experience handling out of state collision and injury claims.

No-Fault Vs. At-Fault States

If you happened to be visiting family in Kentucky and suffered a motor vehicle collision, you may be shocked to find out it is a no-fault state. States that do not consider fault in car accidents require drivers to have insurance policies that include personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in addition to their regular vehicle coverage. This insurance will cover medical costs and other accident-related injury expenses up to a maximum amount.

Ohio is not such a state. You must sue the other driver’s insurance because of state at-fault laws. When a driver does not have appropriate coverage, you must rely on your own underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage if you chose to buy such a policy when you initially signed up for accident coverage. 

Filing an Out-of-State Personal Injury Suit

For drivers who have suffered severe injuries in an out-of-state accident, it may be necessary to pursue a lawsuit against the other driver to cover any costs not covered by your own policy. Damages you might pursue could include:

  • Medical expenses

  • Lost wages

  • Loss of capacity to work

  • Loss of consortium

  • Car repairs and related property damage

  • Pain and suffering

Determining where to file such a suit may seem a bit confusing, but you will likely follow the state laws where the accident occurred. Keep in mind this can be a bit complex when it comes to the statute of limitations for filing. Also, accidents in states that use a modified comparative fault law like Ohio may diminish your compensation award by the percentage of liability you hold. You will also need to find out if the state has a threshold for fault, which could eliminate your ability to file suit. Ohio law sets a fault threshold of 50% or more when the right to sue is no longer available.

Trust Your Out-of-State Car Accident Case with a Qualified Attorney

Any time you are in an accident, out-of-state, or a block from home, you need a highly qualified car accident attorney like those at Diehl & Hubbell who have a proven track record in winning injury compensation. We are easily accessible to anyone in Southwestern Ohio, including the communities of Lebanon, Hillsboro, Wilmington, and Hamilton. Contact our office online or call us at (513) 970-6019 to schedule a free initial consultation.