Road trip vacations are popular throughout the United States, and many people spend time driving across several states. Unfortunately, people often get into accidents outside their home states and are unsure what to do next.
If you are in a car accident in Tennessee but live in another state, you can still file a lawsuit or insurance claim just like you would at home. However, when filing a lawsuit, there might be issues of jurisdiction to hammer out with a Tennessee car accident lawyer. Insurance claims are a bit easier to handle as you should be covered no matter where your crash happened. You should hire an attorney from the state where you file your lawsuit. Your case will likely be heard in a Tennessee courtroom, so you need a Savannah car accident lawyer. In many cases, plaintiffs can return home to recover from their injuries, although they must return for certain hearings and the trial.
Car accidents are scary, but they can be extra intimidating when they happen far away from home. Our Tennessee car accident attorneys can help you through this confusing time. For a free case assessment, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
Where to File a Lawsuit if You Were Injured in a Tennessee Car Accident But Live in Another State
After a car accident, many injured drivers want to pursue legal action to cover their considerable expenses and damages. Often, this means filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, out-of-state drivers injured in Tennessee car accidents are often unsure where they need to file their case. Our Tennessee car accident lawyers can help you file your case in the appropriate court so you can get compensation from the negligent defendant.
One very important issue to figure out when filing a lawsuit is where your case must be filed. While a plaintiff from a different state might want to file the case in their home state, their home state probably does not have jurisdiction over the defendant. This means that the plaintiff’s home state has no legal authority over the defendant, and the defendant cannot be sued in that state. However, if you want to sue the defendant in your home state, you must show that they have sufficient minimum contacts with your home state to warrant jurisdiction. Sufficient minimum contacts might include owning property or conducting business in your home state.
There might be several courts with jurisdiction over your case. Tennessee has jurisdiction because the accident happened in this state. Additionally, the state where the defendant lives (if not Tennessee) has jurisdiction over the defendant. You can file your case in Tennessee or, if the defendant lives in another state, the state where the defendant lives. While the defendant’s home state does not have jurisdiction over you, you can voluntarily submit to that state’s jurisdiction in the interest of filing your lawsuit.
What Law Applies to Car Accidents in Tennessee if I am From Another State?
There is a strong probability that your Tennessee car accident involved a Tennessee driver, and your personal injury lawsuit will be filed in a Tennessee court. Even so, many plaintiffs in your position are unsure whether the laws of Tennessee or their home state will govern the case.
In 1992, in the case of Hataway v. McKinley, the Supreme Court of Tennessee ruled that issues involving conflict of laws in civil actions should be settled according to the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws. When determining which state law should apply in a case, the state with the most significant relationship with the case should govern.
Tennessee will likely have the most significant relationship to your car accident case, especially if the defendant is also from Tennessee. Our Tennessee personal injury attorneys can help you begin your lawsuit and hopefully get your damages covered.
How to File an Insurance Claim for a Tennessee Car Accident if You Live in a Different State
Insurance claims are very common after car accidents, no matter what state they happened in. Fortunately, you do not have to contend with any state law other than your home state when filing an insurance claim. In every state, drivers are legally required to carry auto insurance, but different states often have different laws regarding how insurance claims are filed and paid.
Tennessee is a fault-based insurance state. This means that after a car accident, drivers typically file third-party claims against the other driver’s insurance, and the driver deemed at fault for the crash must pay. Other states, perhaps your home state, follow no-fault insurance laws where injured drivers file claims with their own insurance providers and are covered regardless of fault.
Your insurance follows you no matter where your accident happened, and you should follow the laws of your state. If you come from a no-fault state, you should file an insurance claim with your own insurance provider. In many states, the no-fault insurance system limits drivers’ rights to sue, and you might want to speak with an attorney in your state about how and when you can sue the other driver. When you want to file your lawsuit, our Nashville car accident attorneys are prepared to assist you.
Do I Have to Stay in Tennessee After a Car Accident if I Live Elsewhere?
Injured drivers often do not have to remain in Tennessee while their personal injury lawsuit is pending. Lawsuits take time, and many plaintiffs wait months or even over a year before their case is finished. You are not expected to remain in Tennessee during this time, and you can return home to receive medical treatment, recover, and go back to work.
However, there might be hearings or proceedings that require your presence. Smaller hearings on the status of the case where your presence is not required can be handled by our Knoxville car accident lawyers in your absence. More important matters, like depositions, settlement talks, or the actual trial, usually require you to be present.
Call Our Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Assessment
If you were involved in a car accident in Tennessee but live in a different state, you need a Tennessee attorney to help you. Our Murfreesboro car accident lawyers can help you file your lawsuit while you recover at home. For a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.