Whether travelers are staying relatively close to home, visiting hot spots like Nashville or Chicago, or traveling further to the east or west coast, an accident can happen at any time. Like most states, Missouri is a tort state, meaning the insurance company of the at-fault driver will pay out expenses related to the accident.
What happens if an accident happens outside of Missouri may depend on what state the car accident occurred in. Illinois, for instance, is also a tort state, so the insurance process would follow the same procedures as in Missouri. However, if the accident happened in Kansas—a no-fault state—the process may work slightly differently.
Is the Driver Required to Contact the Police?
After ensuring that no one was hurt and that everyone involved received necessary medical attention, the next step to take after an out-of-state car accident is to contact the police. Some states have laws stating that the drivers must always call police after an accident, whereas some only require it if there were a certain amount of injuries and damages. To keep all parties involved safe and ensure no one is breaking the law, it is best to contact the police and let them know about the accident. They may not visit the scene, but they will still file a report which can also be helpful later on.
Insurance Company Involvement
Once the individual notifies the police, it is then important for all parties to contact their insurance company. They will need to know the details of the accident and will likely send a claims adjustor to the scene as soon as possible. However, this does not mean that those involved in the accident must remain at the scene, although they may have to tell the adjuster where the car is if it needs repairs.
While speaking to the insurance company it is important to ask them what the insurance policy covers in regards to out-of-state towing, repairs, and car rentals. Some policies will cover a partial portion of these expenses, and some will cover all. It will greatly depend on the individual policy.
The police in the state and the insurance company will be the greatest sources of information after an out-of-state car accident. When there are significant injuries to the out-of-state individual, they may also wish to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. They will also have to do this in the state where the accident occurred.
Risks of Admitting Possible Guilt or Fault
No matter where the accident happened, or whether or not someone wants to file a personal injury claim, it is important that drivers do not take blame in an accident. It is natural to want to apologize after an accident, but this can be considered an admission of guilt. To avoid both civil and criminal self-incrimination, an individual should never say anything to this effect until the police and insurance adjustors investigated the scene and identified the culpable driver.