What Is the Legal Procedure for a Tourist in a Car Accident in the U.S.?

What Is the Legal Procedure for a Tourist in a Car Accident in the U.S.?

How Is a Pennsylvania Car Accident Handled if a Tourist Is Involved?

Tourists in Pennsylvania have to abide by state law just as residents do if they are involved in a car accident. This means that when they are involved in a traffic collision, they must report the accident if one or more of the following occurs:

  • A fatality occurred due to the accident
  • Medical attention was required by anyone involved in the collision
  • Any of the vehicles sustained enough damage that they couldn’t be driven and had to be towed from the scene. 

Rental Cars and Tourist Accidents

Since most tourists drive rental cars when visiting the country, it is important for them to know what kind of insurance coverage they have and what to do if another driver was liable for the collision or if they caused one themselves. Those who rent vehicles can obtain insurance coverage from the company. Foreign visitors who rent a car must agree to follow traffic laws and drive safely. 

If they do not do so and become involved in a traffic accident, their insurance policy will probably not pay for damages. In addition, because a credit card is used to rent the vehicle, the rental agency may charge you for repairs to the vehicle even if the other driver was the one who was negligent and caused the car accident.

Tourists Often Carry Their Own Insurance When They Visit a Foreign Country

In addition to obtaining an international driver’s license, foreign nationals and visitors often have their own auto insurance policies, which they purchased in their own countries to cover foreign travel. Enlisting the help of an attorney to make a claim against those insurance companies would be necessary to recover compensation for your car accident injuries. In addition, American insurance companies often offer insurance policies to immigrants.

Pennsylvania Is a No-Fault State

What this means is that for those who are involved in a car accident, so one driver can be entirely or partially responsible for an accident. If the other driver caused the collision, which will be determined by the police investigation into the crash, their insurance will cover your damages. If the tourist causes the accident and returns to their home country, the only recourse you may have is to sue them there, which could be a lengthy and expensive prospect. 

In Some Cases, the Car Rental Company May Be Liable for a Car Accident

In a small number of cases, the rental company itself may be held liable for accident injuries and vehicle damage if the following occurred:

  • Poor vehicle maintenance was responsible for the traffic collision.
  • The vehicle had a defect that was reported to the car rental company but was never repaired. Because car rental agencies are not allowed to rent recalled vehicles until repairs have been made, this would be grounds for a lawsuit.
  • The driver who rented the vehicle was unsuitable because they had no valid license, it was expired or the company didn’t verify it. 

Travis Law Firm

At Travis Law Firm, we may be able to help you recover compensation if you suffer a traffic accident injury involving a tourist. Contact us at (814) 277-2222 to arrange a free consultation. We can review your case and let you know what options are available to recover the compensation you deserve. You can also get in touch with us online