Summertime means travel, and if you are in a vehicle traveling outside of your home state, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Car accidents can occur anywhere at any time in your "road trip" adventures. If you are traveling through more than one state, it is extremely important that you know and understand what the laws are in each state regarding car insurance requirements. What is the bare minimum coverage in your state may not be enough coverage in another state. Additionally, if you are in an accident far from home, you have to hire an auto accident attorney from the state and closest city where your accident occurred. Here is why.
All Lawyers, Including Accident Attorneys, Are Only Licensed to Practice in Their Home States
Lawyers back home in your city/state are typically only licensed to practice in your state. It is exceedingly rare for a lawyer to have a license that allows him/her to practice in more than one state. Ergo, if you live in Minnesota, but your accident occurred in South Dakota, you will need to hire a lawyer in South Dakota. The other person or persons involved in the accident will have to hire a South Dakotan lawyer as well, regardless of where they live.
Jurisdiction and Legal Issues
Police officers cannot operate outside of their jurisdiction. They can chase criminals over state lines, but in most cases, they cannot arrest a criminal "x" number of states over from their own. A very similar law prevents lawyers from practicing law outside of their jurisdiction in an attempt to give lawyers in that jurisdiction fair opportunity at the cases that occur there. There are also multiple laws that are not the same from state to state, which can make taking and defending your case really difficult for any lawyer that does not have a license to practice law within the state where your accident occurred.
Multi-Person Accidents Cannot Be Represented by the Same Law Firm
As an example, a multi-person, multi-car auto accident in Warner Robins, GA, presents with a number of victims and drivers. If you had been part of such a multi-car accident here, or anywhere else, you would have to scramble to find a lawyer in that area, and each law firm can only represent ONE person in that kind of car crash because of "legal conflict of interest." Ergo, once you are aware of the fact that you have to find a lawyer in the same city/state as your accident, make sure you find one right away before there is not an available lawyer that can represent you.
For more information, contact an auto accident law firm near you.
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