What to do if I was rear-ended by an out of state driver and his insurance is claiming that it “exceeds their out of state limits”?

I was rear-ended and the other driver is at fault. Accident happened in MD (where I’m insured) and the other driver is insured in NJ. I filed a claim with my insurance company and was then told that the other drivers insurance would “most likely not be paying” because it “exceeded their out of state limits”. His car was insured by his work. It doesn’t seem right and it looks like I might be stuck having to pay my deductible to get my car fixed (over $6,000 in damage).

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Accident Law, Maryland

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Since the other driver was at fault in the accident and the other driver's insurance won't pay on your claim, you will need to sue the other driver for negligence.  You are the plaintiff.  The at-fault driver is the defendant.  A lawsuit can be filed where the plaintiff lives or where the defendant lives or where the claim arose.  You could file your lawsuit in either MD or NJ.  For convenience purposes, such as filing documents with the court and court apperances, it would be advisable to file your lawsuit in MD where you live.  Your damages ( the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your vehicle. You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting a repair shop whose charges are comparable to other repair shops in the area.  If you selected the most expensive auto repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  If you need a rental car while your car is being repaired, again you will need to mitigate damages by selecting a rental with reasonable rates.  If you were to select the most expensive rental car you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.  Your damages should also include court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.  You should select a process server in or near the city where the defendant lives in NJ to serve the defendant with the summons and complaint.  The complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons.  You can find process servers listed under attorney services in the Yellow Pages or online.


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