How do you sue an out-of-state driver who caused your car accident in Washington State? Find out when you can file your lawsuit against him in our state.

What happens if an out-of-state driver caused my car accident?



Seattle is a popular destination for vacationers and business travelers. While this is good for our economy, it can increase the risk that you or a family member will suffer serious injuries or death in a car accident caused by a negligent out-of-state driver. This can complicate your claim for compensation for your injuries.

Can You File a Lawsuit Against an Out-of-State Driver Who Caused Your Crash in the Seattle Area?

Washington State is a fault state, and a negligent driver is fully responsible for compensating the victims of an accident he causes. Here is what happens if the driver is from another state:

  • An out-of-state driver faces the same liability for compensating you for your injuries as a negligent driver who lives in Washington State.
  • The court where you file your complaint must have personal jurisdiction over the out-of-state driver in order for you to have the right to sue him in Washington State. Personal jurisdiction is the court’s authority to make decisions about an individual in a lawsuit. The person must have sufficient contacts with the state in order for the court to have personal jurisdiction over him.
  • In general, a negligent driver’s presence in Washington State will give the court personal jurisdiction over him and enable you to sue him here rather than in his home state

In addition to determining whether the court will have jurisdiction to decide your case, you must also figure out how to serve an individual who lives in another state. Service refers to your obligation to provide the negligent driver with a copy of your lawsuit. Usually it is personally served upon him by a court officer or other process server.

There are many considerations when you must pursue a claim against a negligent non-resident driver and his insurance company. Our experienced car accident attorneys can explain your legal options to you and pursue your claim so that no errors are made that would prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve. To learn more, fill our online form or call our Bellevue office to schedule your free consultation today.