Do I need an out-of-state attorney if I am in an accident in Mississippi, Alabama or Florida but live in Louisiana?
Like everything in the legal system, there is no clear cut answer, but the general answer is, no. In some circumstances you may need to hire an out-of-state attorney, but the best advice is to contact a Louisiana attorney immediately, who will know your rights and begin taking steps towards handling your claim in the best, most efficient and convenient way possible. You do not need an out-of-state attorney to settle your claim without filing a law suit. Hiring an out-of-state attorney will almost inevitably guarantee that any litigation will be handled out-of-state, which will be inconvenient for you. On the other hand, a Louisiana attorney can immediately evaluate the case and take every step possible to make sure it is handled in Louisiana.
What Are My Options if I am Injured While on Vacation Out-of-State?
One of the great things about Louisiana—apart from the good food, music and culture—is the fact that it is close to so many great vacation destinations. Many of us enjoy taking road trips, whether short weekend getaways or longer family vacations, to nearby places like Destin, Florida, or Gulf Shores, Alabama. While these vacations should be filled with good times and new memories, many people find themselves lost and confused when things turn bad, asking themselves a lot of questions. For example, what happens if I am hit by another driver while I am out of state? Do I have to find an out-of-state attorney, or can I use one from Louisiana? Do I have to resolve the matter before returning home? Should I stay in this state until the situation is resolved? Are my rights governed by the state where the accident occurred, or will Louisiana laws will apply?
An out-of-state accident is confusing and frustrating and the last thing you want to deal with when you’re on vacation. It can easily ruin what was supposed to be your time to relax, one of the reasons you should to speak with a Louisiana attorney as soon as possible. The attorney’s initial advice might be all you need to calm your worries and allow you to enjoy the rest of the week. You do not need to contact an out-of-state attorney, in fact, it is probably in your best interest to NOT contact an out-of-state attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Matt & Allen immediately. We will answer any questions that you have and do everything possible to make the situation as easy and painless as possible.
What steps should I take if I am injured while on vacation?
Immediately seek medical attention. If you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured in any way, it is important to seek medical attention. Sometimes injuries do not seem serious until later, so even if your injury seems minor, it is still important to visit a doctor or medical professional. At a minimum, your injuries will be documented and the insurance company will have a weaker argument when they claim your injuries are not related to the accident. Obviously, going to a doctor during vacation is the last thing you want to do, but if you suffer an injury, big or small, the best thing for your well-being and the best thing for your claim is to seek medical attention.
Speak with an attorney. Contact The Law Offices of Matt and Allen immediately. Your claim will not be resolved in the matter of a week or two (ie: before your vacation is over) and if it is, you likely won’t receive a complete recovery. Depending on the severity of the accident, talking to an attorney immediately will help ease your mind, prevent the insurance company from aggravating you during your vacation and allow you to discuss what you should and shouldn’t do until you are able to return home. In some cases it may be necessary for a Matt and Allen attorney to go meet you in order to protect you and your loved ones.
Preserve evidence, take pictures. Evidence can quickly disappear. Whether it is a bruise that goes away in a few days, vehicle damage that is whisked away from the scene of a car accident or a defective product that breaks and will quickly be in someone else’s possession (usually the person or company at fault). It is so easy to take pictures and video these days. Everyone has a camera (your cell phone camera) on them at all times. Don’t be embarrassed, take pictures and preserve evidence because what’s here today may be gone tomorrow.
Do not speak to any insurance company before talking to an attorney. You have a duty to cooperate with your insurance company’s investigation, but you should always contact an attorney first. If necessary, your attorney can talk to your insurance for you. On the other hand, the attorney might tell you it’s ok for you talk speak to them, but it’s always best to discuss it with an attorney first.
Do not give a recorded statement to anyone. Certainly do not give a recorded statement to anyone without first discussing it with an attorney. I cannot think of any situation where a recorded statement is necessary. If anyone has requested a recorded or written statement you should immediately contact one of our attorneys before agreeing to do so.
The location of an accident is not the only factor in determining which state’s laws apply or where any litigation will take place. Determining which state’s laws apply and which state litigation will occur is a complex area of law, which our attorneys at The Law Offices of Matt and Allen are familiar with. Obviously, if you live in Louisiana it will be more convenient to make sure that any medical treatment and litigation occurs in Louisiana, so contact us today.
What if my vacation injuries were not a result of a car accident?
Car accidents are the most common cause of injuries while on vacation, but that’s not the only way injuries can occur. With Louisiana being close to so many great beaches, many unfortunate vacationers find themselves seeking legal advice following water-sport injuries. To learn more about these specific types of injuries and your legal options, contact The Law Offices of Matt & Allen today or explore these pages below:
After being injured in an accident like any of the ones mentioned above, it may be difficult to tell who was at fault and whether or not you will be able to recover for your damages. Often times the previously mentioned accidents involve combinations of fault, and depending on which state’s laws apply, you may be able to recover for the other person’s percentage of fault or may be prevented entirely, which is all the more reason to contact a Louisiana lawyer. For example, the accident may be partly your fault and partly someone else’s fault. Louisiana uses comparative fault, which allows you to recover for the other person’s percentage of fault, and a Louisiana lawyer can fight to prove that Louisiana law applies in order to look out for your best interest. Don’t just assume that you’re at fault, because for example, you had been drinking at the time of the accident. There’s no law that says “you cannot recover if you have been drinking prior to the [parasailing] accident”. Do not let the confusion regarding fault stop you from contacting a lawyer to learn your rights.
Don’t let stress ruin your vacation.
Vacations, while meant to be relaxing, are stressful enough. If you are in a severe accident, your vacation will be interrupted and you will gladly ignore your beach time to be on the bedside of a loved one in the hospital, but if your accident was relatively minor or the injuries that you sustained do not affect your ability to carry-out your vacation as planned, do not let the stress of legal issues and worries ruin your vacation. Often times clients are worried about things that are completely immaterial or out of their control and simply speaking to an attorney calms their fears. For many, it is the fear of the unknown. Many people have never experienced an accident, much less an accident in another state and don’t know what to do or what to expect. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Matt & Allen as soon as possible so you can feel more confident and worry-free for the rest of your vacation. Contact us today if you have any questions.