There are auto accidents for which you don't necessarily need a lawyer, but an out-of-state car crash is not one of them. The complications brought about by the different laws and jurisdictions are just too much for a novice to handle. Here are some of those complications:
Laws of the State Where the Accident Occurred Apply
In this case, the procedural laws of the state in which the accident occurred will apply. For example, you need to be mindful of the statute of limitations on that state since they determine how long you have to file a claim, and not your state's statute of limitations. Indeed, the statute of limitations isn't the only accident-related laws that vary by state; others may include recovery limits, comparative or contributory negligence laws, and fault/no-fault laws, among others.
You May Have to Sue the Defendant in their Native State
When suing a motorist for accident damages, you need to sue them in a court that has personal jurisdiction over them. Having personal jurisdiction means that the court has the power to make decisions regarding the person or, put another way, the person is subject to the jurisdiction's laws. In most cases, this means that you have to sue the person in their home state.
This means you may have to shuttle back and forth between your home and the defendant's state. It will also be advisable to deal with lawyers from the defendant's home state because they best understand the applicable laws.
Damages Are Likely to be High
Handling an out-of-state accident case is more likely to be expensive than handling an accident in your home state. This is especially true if the state in which the accident occurred is rather far from your home state. For example, the cost of bringing your car back to your home, transport costs, and temporary lodging costs will be high. Since you also need to include these out-of-pocket expenses in your damages, it means your total damages will also rise. Anytime you are dealing with an accident claim that involves serious damages, you need a lawyer to protect your interests.
In many other ways, however, pursuing an out-of-state car accident claim is the same as pursuing an accident claim in your own state. You still need to preserve evidence and get witnesses to prove the defendant's liability for your damages. A car accident lawyer can help you with all that.