How does insurance change when you cross state borders?

Living in Toledo, you're likely familiar with the dangers of drivers heading south from Michigan. Michigan is notorious for having speeding drivers who do not signal and who often cut off others in traffic. Compared to Ohio's drivers, who are typically more cautious but likely to speed, there is often a risk of crashes when the two come together.

If you head north and end up getting into a collision, there's no question that it will be more troubling than if you'd gotten into the same crash in Ohio. Cross-border crashes are more complex than in-state crashes, so understanding how your insurance applies is key.

Generally speaking, insurance stays the same no matter where you go in the United States. Sometimes, it even follows you out of the country. The difference comes when the other state is a no-fault state when you live in an at-fault state or vice versa. The good thing to note is that if your crash happens in a state with a no-fault system, you'll be able to have your medical expenses fully covered by your insurer no matter who caused the crash.

What should you do after a crash?

No matter where you are, the steps following a crash stay the same. First, you need to assess the situation. If there are injuries, you need to call 911 for assistance. When the police and first responders arrive, those who are injured should go to the hospital. Those without injuries can stay at the scene and talk to the police about what happened.

It's always in your best interests to go to the hospital instead of speaking to the police right away, even if you think you feel fine. Many injuries develop over time, meaning that you may feel fine now and be in significant pain in the morning or in a few days' time.

Once you get a medical checkup, you can speak to the police about the crash. Even if you believe that you may have caused the crash, it's in your best interests to say only the facts and nothing that could potentially implicate yourself. The police and investigators can make the final determination about fault, and offering it up yourself does nothing but make it easier to blame the crash on you.

Once all of this is resolved, you can reach out to your insurance company or file a claim against the other party's insurance. You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party if the accident occurred out of state or if you have been offered a settlement that does not seem fair.


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