What to Do If You’re a Tourist Who’s Been in a Personal Injury Accident Away from Home

A road trip is one of life’s greatest adventures, but California’s roadways can be treacherous for unfamiliar drivers. The same goes for airline travelers who find themselves at the mercy of Uber drivers, public transportation, and walking around as a pedestrian.

If you’re a tourist or an out-of-state driver who travels California’s highways and city streets, you’re always at risk of getting in an accident far away from home. In this situation, you may wonder: Do I need a lawyer? Should I hire someone from home? How would I find a local lawyer here in California?

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re here to help you answer these questions. Here’s what you need to know about being injured in an accident when you’re a tourist in California.

What You Need to Know Being in an Accident in California

Every state has different laws concerning how traffic accidents are handled. Some states are considered no-fault states, which means their own insurance handles the claim regardless of who is at fault. California, on the other hand, is considered a tort state. That means that one or the other driver is considered at fault or both drivers can be considered partially at fault.

In terms of insurance, every major insurance company in the U.S. provides nationwide insurance. So, if you have good auto insurance coverage for an accident, it should apply to your accident as a tourist in California as long as you are a U.S. resident.

If you are a foreign visitor, however, you might not be as lucky. Many visitors from Europe, Australia, and other countries with great health insurance get their medical expenses covered or use their tourism insurance, but coverage for your accident isn’t guaranteed.

After being injured in a California traffic accident, you’ll need to retain solid legal representation. Why? Because insurance companies that insure at-fault drivers will offer you only the bare minimum as a settlement in your case.

For those who have been seriously injured, this may not even cover your entire medical expenses let alone the pain and suffering you’ve endured, or your lost time from work. For that, you’ll need to know how and where to find and hire the best personal injury lawyer who can help people who live far away.

Dealing with Insurance Companies in Tort States Like California

While California requires all drivers to carry liability insurance for both property damage and bodily injuries, those policies may not cover the entirety of your medical bills. Many drivers only carry minimum policies because they figure they’ll drive carefully enough to not need them.


Then, when they’re in an accident, their policy only covers a small portion of the damage they’ve caused to another person. This is yet another reason you’ll need a California tourist accident attorney to help you out.

Insurance companies in tort states like California are not your pal. They’re not out there to ensure that you get the damages that you’re entitled to. They are for-profit companies that seek to pay you the bare minimum for your claim and will exclude non-economic damages like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment. Further, they will likely try to get out of paying for your missed time from work.

If there are ambiguities in the police report, or if there is some question as to who is at fault, the insurance company will try to claim that you were partly to blame for the accident. If it’s found that you are 20% at fault, for example, then the insurance company will only have to pay you 80% of your damages.

A top California personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance companies and take the pressure off of you as you focus on your recovery. The best personal injury firms will also ensure that your case is handled quickly, devote their full attention to securing you the best possible settlement, and keep you informed and updated as the case progresses.

Being in a traffic accident is hard enough. It’s harder still when you’re a visitor or tourist in California and it’s all unfamiliar territory to you. Finding a tourist injury attorney that will fight for you can alleviate much of the stress.

How to Hire the Best Tourist Accident Attorney for Out of State Representation for Your Traffic Injury

There are many things you’ll need to bear in mind as an out-of-state motorist, Uber user, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, or motorcyclist who has been in a traffic accident away from your home state. First, you’ll need to find representation. For that, you’ll need a local tourist injury law firm that can manage an out-of-state case like yours.

Many lawyers in the area prefer paper documentation and face-to-face meetings. While that works fine for clients who live in their city, it’s not going to work for someone who lives on the opposite side of the country or even outside the States.

So one of the qualities you’ll want to look for is whether or not they have the technological capacity to deal with a client who comes from a different state. One of the things you’ll need to ask your attorney before they take your long-distance case is whether or not they operate as a paperless office as we do at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers.

Your tourist accident legal team should provide efficient, effective, and personalized representation. They should do so flawlessly for long-distance clients who have suffered serious injuries while on business or visiting for vacation. Their staff and attorney should be well-versed at handling matters with clients they may never even meet in person.

Remember that you and your injury lawyer will likely operate in different time-zones. So, being in live in-person meetings may not be something you can easily schedule. Make sure any tourist accident lawyer you consider has convenient channels of communication, including contacting them via an online case evaluation form, by email, video calls, or phone.

Remember, even though you may have already consulted with an attorney in your home state, you need a personal injury lawyer who is licensed in the state where you were injured to assist you with your traffic accident case.

Does a Tourist Need a Local Personal Injury Attorney?

The answer is yes, and perhaps more so than most! Having a local law firm on your side helps you deal with local idiosyncrasies that you may not be familiar with. They’ll warn you about local rules that may impact your case and your chances at compensation.

Here in California, the process of settling your claim is adversarial due to the need to assign fault. So if you were hurt in California but you live in another state, you’ll want a California tourist accident lawyer who will fight for your right to be compensated as our state permits.

Do I Need a California Lawyer to Manage My Case?

If you were injured in California but live out of state, it’s a better choice to hire a California injury lawyer over someone from your home state. It’s much easier to manage the process with a local lawyer, plus they’ll be familiar with California and local regulations in a way an out-of-state-lawyer probably can’t match.

If you or someone you know has had a serious accident in California but does not live here, it’s best to hire a local California tourist personal injury attorney because they have:

  • Local access. The local attorney knows the area and can go to the accident scene to investigate, or at least have a familiarity with the area/intersection where the accident happened.
  • Local knowledge. The local attorney knows the rules of the local courts in the state/county that the accident occurred.
  • Local license. The local attorney is bar-certified in the state in which the accident occurred.
  • Local advantage. The local attorney may have handled cases involving similar facts, areas, parties, etc. that will provide a “leg up” in your case.

A good California tourism accident lawyer will also help you:

  • Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports, and lawyers.
  • Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim.
  • Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible.

How Do Lawyers Handle Out-of-State Cases?

This is a more frequent occurrence than you might imagine. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ve represented clients that we’ve never met in person and helped them handle their case completely from a distance.

Many law firms will not handle these cases due in large part to the cost and inconvenience of litigating them. But our practice streamlines this process and makes it even more efficient than you might be imagining.

You’ll be able to send us medical records and other information digitally. Also, we’ll make ourselves available to speak to you over the phone or through email when necessary. We’re open to new and innovative ways of communicating.

We’ll present the information that you provide us to the insurance company and demand that they produce a settlement that is in keeping with all of your damages. You will not be required to fly out to California unless your case goes to in-court litigation, which is quite rare.

Finding a San Francisco Tourist Accident Attorney

San Francisco is a notoriously difficult city to drive in. There have been huge population spikes during a period when the transportation system lagged behind the city’s need for speed and safety.

San Francisco has a persistent and problematic amount of congestion. This may be the reason we’re the birthplace of the rideshare movement that involves Uber, Lyft, and many others. While most cities have developed some form of freeway system that takes the pressure off of the main highways and boulevards, San Francisco is not among them.

We have so many traffic accidents and fatalities in San Francisco, our government status for traffic safety simply says NOT MEETING TARGET in bold, red letters. Despite numerous city-wide efforts to improve safety, San Francisco remains a dangerous place to drive.

On top of that, due to the high rate of congestion on Bay Area streets, the city ranks at the top of the list as one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians and cyclists. In a single year, there were 20 traffic fatalities in the city and county of San Francisco.

Many of the tourists who are injured on San Francisco streets aren’t sure how to proceed. Here are a few tips:

  1. Document the scene of the accident as well as you can.
  2. Contacting the police immediately and request the police report.
  3. Hire a top-quality San Francisco personal injury attorney who specializes in traffic accidents especially those with out-of-state tourists.

These three steps alone can give you a much better shot at high-value compensation than you’d otherwise receive. Your San Francisco traffic accident lawyer, with plenty of local knowledge, adds immense value and efficiency to your case.

Hiring a Los Angeles Tourist Accident Lawyer

Los Angeles is a notoriously difficult city to drive in, despite its reputation as a driver’s city. Folks will get into their car to drive just a few hundred miles down the street, meaning the roads are constantly congested in even the most pedestrian-friendly areas.

Los Angeles is among the worst places in the country for pedestrian and cyclist accidents. Drivers themselves fared little better, and this has much to do with the sheer volume of motor vehicles that populate LA roadways. For those who aren’t familiar with the city, it can be quite overwhelming.

It’s your right to demand compensation for an LA traffic accident caused by someone else’s negligence. But to get paid for your accident, you have to prove fault. So if you’re a tourist who has been injured in LA, finding a top-quality personal injury attorney to ensure you get a fair settlement is going to be a key part of the process.

How to Find an Oakland Tourist Accident Law Firm

Oakland is among the most dangerous cities in the country to drive in. In a single year, there are thousands of road accidents in Oakland. Scarier still is the fact that Oakland’s civil engineering is not to blame for these accidents. It’s mostly due to intoxicated and reckless driving, according to the statistics we’ve seen.

For tourists, driving in Oakland is a scary proposition. If you’re injured, it’s difficult to know what to do next. Having a tourist injury lawyer in Oakland to ask questions and negotiate with insurance companies can help take much of the stress out of the situation.

Hire a Tourist Injury Attorney in San Jose

Unlike the aforementioned California cities, San Jose has spent a good deal of money on protecting pedestrians and cyclists. But the reason for that has a lot to do with the fact that the city’s non-drivers were statistically more likely to be injured in a traffic accident than other major cities in the country.


For those who are injured in a traffic accident in San Jose, finding the best tourist accident injury law firm in San Jose to represent them will ensure that they receive a fair settlement from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Considering a California Tourist Accident Lawyer?

Curious about whether the 5-star rated California tourist accident lawyers at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers are right for you? Check out how the process works and see if our law firm is a good fit for you.

For out-of-state visitors, we offer the following services.

Visiting Pedestrians

Pedestrian access has been the subject of numerous accessibility and safety projects in California cities. If you suffer a pedestrian injury, we can help you gather the evidence to make a persuasive insurance claim, negotiate a settlement, and hold the right person or organization accountable.

Bicyclists and E-bike Users

We’re avid cyclists here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers and can help you start a bicycle accident claim for full and fair compensation.

Touring and Traveling Motorcyclists

After a motorcycle accident, we can help you seek compensation for medical bills, lost work, damage to your bike, and more. We know how catastrophic motorcycle accidents can be and we have a long track record of positive results for our clients.

Uber Accidents

We are one of the area’s longest-running Uber accident firms and you can reach out to us for knowledgeable and compassionate representation. We have extensive experience handling Uber-related cases, including those for travelers and tourists.

Vehicle Riders and Drivers

We also handle many types of vehicle accident claims. We primarily handle severe accidents with serious injuries that occur on and near roadways, including those that involve tourists driving rental cars and tourists riding as passengers.

We Handle Your Pedestrian Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an accident that happens while you’re traveling, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including tourist injuries. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.

Accident Client

If you’re someone who is considering an attorney for a personal accident, I highly recommend Sally Morin and her professional staff of attorneys. If you would like to know more details, feel free to contact me via Yelp and I would be happy to share more details. While I use Yelp quite often, I rarely post reviews… unless I’m truly blown away by great service (or angry with horrible service). If there were a sixth star, I would certainly give it to Rebecca and Sally!

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Check out our Personal Injury FAQ Page to learn more about how the process works.

We Handle Your Personal Injury Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of traffic injury claims. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a
free online case evaluation.


It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible