Being in a car accident with an out of state driver can be confusing at best and overwhelming at worst. You might be dealing with a motorist who behaves as if his or her state will not learn about this car accident because it occurred far from home.
However, just because the other driver is from another state does not mean that you will not be able to recover damages, though it does mean that the process will be much more complicated. Our Pittsburgh out of state driver accident attorney at SMT Legal explains that Pennsylvania is part of a 46-state agreement called the Driver License Compact (DLC), which serves as the bridge between the participating states in exchanging information about convictions and traffic law violations committed by out of state motorists.
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If you are from Pittsburgh or another city in Pennsylvania and have been in a car crash caused by an out of state driver, and that driver refuses to provide his or her auto insurance information arguing that he or she is not from Pennsylvania, you might want to upset the driver by telling him or her that his or her home state will be notified about the car accident and the traffic violation will be added to that driver’s driving record.
“However, things get complicated and confusing if the other driver does something that is considered illegal in Pennsylvania but is not illegal in his or her home state,” says our experienced out of state motorist accident attorney in Pittsburgh.
For example, let’s say that a motorist was traveling at 40 mph on an unposted road in an urban area in Pittsburgh prior to the crash.
While driving over the speed limit will most likely be added to the motorist’s driving record by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), because the maximum speed limit on unposted roads in urban areas in Pittsburgh is 35 mph, that motorist’s home state may not add this traffic offense to his or her driving record if the speed limit is 40 mph or higher on unposted roads in urban areas in the driver’s home state.
Does this sound complicated? Of course, it does. But if you or your family members have been injured in a car accident involving an out of state motorist, what will and will not be added to that motorist’s driving record should be the least of your concerns. You need to focus on your recovery and retain legal representation to seek maximum compensation for your losses and damages.
Since liability for a motor vehicle accident is determined under state law, the at-fault out of state motorist’s negligence will be determined under Pennsylvania law if the accident occurred in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or elsewhere in our state. Pennsylvania law will also dictate the amounts that can be collected by the injured party for each type of injury or loss. This is important to understand because state laws may vary regarding the available types of claims that can be presented by the plaintiff and the amount of money that can be recovered.
Our Pittsburgh car accident involving out of state driver lawyer also reminds that Pennsylvania is one of few states that mandate no-fault insurance policies. This means that each party involved in a car crash, regardless of who is at fault for causing it, must seek compensation for their medical expenses and loss of income from their own insurance company.