Can I sue a vehicle for damages if it is out of state? 35 Answers as of February 20, 2012

I was beginning to accelerate at a green light when the vehicle 2 cars in front of me suddenly stopped completely (no reason, he was confused). Vehicle 2 hit #1 and I hit #2. No injuries. #2 has filed with my insurance for damages. I cited for not leaving enough stopping distance but I intend to fight it because we were in the process of accelerating. Can I sue vehicle 1 for damages and insurance increases? He is out of state. What happens with that?

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David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
You can file a suit in his sate for damages, but not insurance increases. You will probably have to file the suit yourself because you will have a hard time finding a n attorney to take the case. If your insurance paid for your damages, you may have to have to reimburse your insurance company if you win and collect damages.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 8/4/2011
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
Yes. You can sue someone from out-of-state using "long-arm jurisdiction" which says that residents of another state can be sued in New York if they cause an accident here.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/3/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
Under Virginia law on this type of incident your chances of success are minimal
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 8/2/2011
Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
Under the injury case facts you describe, you do not have a personal injury case. You have a legal duty to keep a lookout and anticipate that cars in front of you might stop suddenly. I hope that you were not seriously injured. Even though you were at fault, you are still entitled to medical payments coverage under your policy if you have such coverage. Don't forget to make a claim if you have medical bills.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 8/2/2011
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
You can generally sue for injuries and other consequential damages caused by a car accident. If you could establish that the fault of the other driver caused your insurance rates to go up and that you have no better alternative but to pay the higher rate, I don't see why you can't include that in a lawsuit. One problem is that there may be cheaper alternatives (it's not like you're required to use a particular company), and I also think the cost of pursuing the lawsuit may outweigh the benefit if your only out of pocket loss if the insurance rate increase. If the driver caused the accident in Florida, you can sue him in Florida.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/20/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Yes you can. Contact and hire an accident attorney to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    The fact that you were the vehicle who struck the other vehicle from behind generally means that you are in the wrong. You are suppose to maintain control of your vehicle and maintain a speed and vigilance which will allow you to stop before striking the vehicle in front of you.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Yes. Even if he was from out of state he is required to comply with Oregon rules while in the state. You can bring a suit against him and then follow the rules for process of service. They are found under Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure, rule 7.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    You can obtain jurisdiction over an out of state resident for an accident in Florida since the accident occurred here. The person can be served personally or through the state as necessary. You need a lawyer as it's not a process you will be likely able to handle on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You have a very difficult case. Just because you were accelerating does not give you an excuse not to tailgate. Its not NASCAR racing out there. However, if car #1 is at fault for the accident, you can sue or file a claim. The fact that he or she is out of state is irrelevant. You have to sue where the accident occurred. I believe the defendant can be served via certified mail if he resides out of state.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    You can sue them, but you will lose. Vehicle in rear is responsible for being able to stop no matter what. Unless they backed into you, you will lose. The other car's negligence may reduce your % liability, but you cannot win by suing them. Let your insurance handle it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
    The correct venue, or place to file, for a lawsuit is where the incident occurred. In this case it would be the county in which the accident took place. The other driver being out of state is not an issue. If you feel vehicle 1 is at fault for the accident you have the right to pursue a claim against the driver for your damages. It wont be easy as the car in back in a rear-end collision is usually deemed the at fault party.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    Yes, you can sue him for your damages in your own state. However, you can recover damages for your injuries, but not for an increase in your insurance rate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    You can sue the other driver in the jurisdiction where the accident took place. However, from the facts as presented it sounds like a case that you are likely to lose. The fact that you were accelerating really doesn't forgive your failure to pay enough attention to the cars in front of you and leave enough of a cushion to stop if the cars in front of you stop.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Yes, you could sue the out of state driver for the compensatory damages to your vehicle if you have a valid/verified address for him where he could be served with the lawsuit paperwork (presumably in the other state). It is unlikely, however, that you would be able to recover for any consequential damages arising from the accident such as an increase in your insurance premiums.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Judnich Law Office
    Judnich Law Office | Martin W. Judnich
    The answer is that it all depends where the accident happened. Just because someone is from out of state does not matter at all. Insurance companies are nationwide, and as long as you follow the laws of the state in which your accident occurred, you will be fine. Please see an attorney that is licensed in that state. Marty
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    You were following too closely. The acceleration defense is not viable. Let your insurance company handle it. If they bump your premium, get a new insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    You can sue an out of state driver in NY. The Vehicle and Traffic law spells out how to serve an out of state driver. It is a complex statute that must be followed to the letter. Basically, you serve the summons and complaint on the New York Secretary of State and also do an additional mailing. You have a hard case because the person hitting a car ahead of it is generally to blame for an accident. However, there are cases that support you on liability. As for damages, I don't think you can get an award for increased insurance premiums. You can get an award for property damage and personal injury (if you have "serious injury" as defined in the insurance law. As a bottom line, I doubt a lawyer will take your case unless you suffered large bodily injuries.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You can sue the DRIVER and owner in the jurisdiction [county] where the accident happened.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    You can technically sue vehicle 1, however, based on the scenario you presented, it is highly unlikely you will prevail. You are required to keep a proper distance so that if traffic stops (for any reason) you do not collide with the vehicle in front of you. At most, you can sue for property damage and related out-of-pocket expenses, but not for any increase to your insurance premiums.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    you can, but you will probably lose
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    You need to contact your insurance company and discuss the issues you have with them. You can sue for just about anything, however, the question is whether you will be successful. Typically, if a vehicle is rear ended, then the rear ending vehicle's driver is deemed to be at-fault. It is very rare, and often difficult, to have blame placed on the front, stopping vehicle. Your insurance company is obligated to protect your best interest in these situations. See if they have an attorney for your to speak with about your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    No. You are at fault, as are all rear end colliders. Your insurance should cover you, however, so it will all work out.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You sue the driver of course, not the vehicle. In NC a person who drives into the rear of another car generally loses that fight. You have to keep your vehicle under proper control at all times. He may be negligent but the insurance carrier will argue you were also. So, no verdict for you. Out of state you serve papers on the motor vehicle commissioner
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
    You should contact your insurance company about bringing an action against Drivers 1 and 2 for your damages. Until you get your insurance policy, a set of materials including police report, insurance verification, insurance policy, witness statements, photos, diagrams or anything relating to the accident it will be difficult to provide any advice on this question.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You can sue the driver of vehicle #1. If you are less than 50% at fault in causing the accident, you can recover your damages, less the percentage of fault attributable to you. For example, if you have $10,000 in damages, and it is determined by a jury or arbitrator or judge that you are 40% responsible for the accident, you would recover $6,000. If you are more than 50% at fault in causing the accident, then you are not entitled to receive anything.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    #2 has probably also brought suit against the at-fault out of state driver. First see if your insurance company has obtained counsel on your behalf and if so you should ask that counsel whether they will bring those actions on your behalf. Or ask your insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    The accident happened here and you can sue. I would imagine you will have a hard time with it though.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/1/2011
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