Louisiana Auto Accident Caused by an Out-of-State Driver?

December 1, 2020 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents

Louisiana Auto Accident Caused by an Out-of-State Driver?

If you have been injured in a Louisiana auto accident, you are entitled by law to file insurance claims and file a lawsuit to recover money damages. This right is not affected by the fact that the wrongdoer was an out-of-state driver. Imagine, for example, a big rig truck is hauling a load from Texas to Florida using Interstate 12. The truck is following too close and there is a horrific rear-end crash just past Baton Rouge. In this scenario, the victim retains all of his or her rights under Louisiana law even though our hypothetical driver lives in Texas. If passengers are injured, they, too, retain all of their rights under Louisiana law. As a general legal principle, if the wreck occurs here in Louisiana, Louisiana courts have jurisdiction over the case and Louisiana law applies.

As a practical matter, an accident caused by an out-of-state driver might complicate recovery if a lawsuit is filed. It may be necessary to drag the out-of-state wrongdoer or wrongdoers into court here in Louisiana. This is why it is essential to contact proven Louisiana personal injury attorneys like the ones at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. Experienced Louisiana auto accident attorneys know how to use the legal tools available under Louisiana law to bring an out-of-state wrongdoer into Louisiana courts for justice. Louisiana has what is commonly called a “Long Arm Statute,” which allows Louisiana courts to command and compel out-of-state wrong-doers to appear in Louisiana courts.

That being said, until it is necessary to compel an appearance in Louisiana courts, an accident caused by an out-of-state driver proceeds in a somewhat normal manner. Following an accident, most claims are submitted first to the relevant insurance carriers. This happens long before a lawsuit is filed and long before the Long Arm Statute might be needed. Insurance carriers know that they will have to pay out insurance claims regardless of where the at-fault driver lives. Thus, experienced car accident lawyers will begin by gathering evidence related to the accident. They will investigate all potential wrong-doers. In legal terms, a wrong-doer is called a “defendant.” A defendant is the person or company that is sued when a lawsuit is filed. In any given crash, there may be more than one potential defendant. Examples include:

  • The vehicle or truck manufacturer for design or manufacturing defect
  • Various automotive and service shops that may have made faulty repairs
  • The at-fault driver’s employer who may have been negligent in their hiring or training
  • And more

In addition to identifying defendants, your lawyers may need to collect the names and contact information for witnesses. Out-of-state witnesses can complicate matters, but witness interviews can be conducted over the phone or via internet tele-conferencing. Your lawyers also collect and provide information to the insurance carriers and handle the settlement negotiations. Insurance companies are located all over the country, so those communications are accomplished through the mail, through phone conversations, and via internet transmissions.

As can be seen, an accident involving an out-of-state driver adds a layer of complication to the case. We here at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC., know how to handle the extra complexity.

Mansfield Melancon Attorneys can Help: Call Today

If you have been injured in a Louisiana automobile crash, contact the Louisiana car accident attorneys at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have a proven track record of success handling many types of Louisiana personal injury cases, including, but not limited to, car accidents, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability accidents, and cases involving nursing care facility abuse/neglect. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.