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How to handle out-of-state car accidents

Car accidents are always a worry in the back of our minds, and unfortunately, they do happen. As an Ohio resident, if you are involved in a collision that causes personal injury or property damage, you may want to consider filing a suit to make sure you are duly compensated. Many different types of legal processes can become complicated, and that can often be the case when accidents are out-of-state. Here are some simple tips for handling these situations.

Accident is not in Ohio

Everyone travels at some point. If you were outside the state of Ohio when a collision occurred, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, if the damage is minor, no one is injured and the other driver's insurance takes responsibility, you may not need to file a suit. A simple settlement will often suffice. If, however, events are not that simple, then there are some general guidelines to follow. First, suits should typically be filed in the state where the collision occurred, even if neither driver is a resident there. Keep in mind that this may require you to travel to court appointments outside of Ohio.

There are a few instances where you may be able to invoke the "minimum contacts" theory if the other driver has a tie to Ohio, such as property or employment. In these cases, an Ohio court can handle the entire process. There are also situations that are even more complicated, like an accident involving a foreign national, in which case a federal court may be required. In any event, it is important to consult with a lawyer knowledgeable in car accident matters to make sure you take the right steps.

Driver is not Ohio resident

If the collision happens in Ohio but the driver at fault is not a resident, then here are some basic rules that may apply. As long as the suit takes place in small claims court, it can usually be handled within Ohio. Once again, if the other driver is not a U.S. citizen, the claim may need to move to a federal court. Also, if the amount of damages in question exceeds the limits of small claims court, such as in a major suit against a driving company, then it may become more complex. When facing any complicated matter, it is also a good idea to consult with an attorney to ensure you use the right legal process.

Whatever the situation, remember that the statute of limitations in Ohio is two years. That means any and all suits must be filed correctly within two years of the collision taking place. Whether or not you are approaching the time limit, it can be helpful have a qualified legal professional look over your case. Schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney at Jeffries, Kube, Forrest & Monteleone CO. L.P.A. to make sure you are on the right path to getting the compensation to which you are entitled.

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