Every day, people from Coeur d’Alene drive through Spokane Washington. It is inevitable: accidents will happen, and sometimes they will have been caused by an out of state driver, such as a driver from Idaho or Montana.
In any accident, the injured party will have questions, and that is when you need a great, local Spokane Washington Car accident lawyer.
So, what if you’re a Spokane resident, and you’re in Washington when you’re involved in an accident, but the driver at fault lives in Idaho? Is jurisdiction in Washington?
The good news is that you can bring your case in Washington. Here’s why.
Washington’s long-arm jurisdiction statute
At first glance, it doesn’t appear as if Washington would have jurisdiction to hear a personal injury lawsuit against an out of an Idaho resident who caused the crash unless the Idaho resident consents to having the case heard in Washington. As a resident of far eastern Washington, traveling as far as western Montana for purposes of litigation might seem to be only a minor inconvenience, but what if the person who caused your accident was from rural Maine or New York City?
You do not have to travel anywhere
Just about every state has a nonresident motorist statute that allows its courts to exercise personal jurisdiction over any nonresident motorist who causes an accident in that state. Washington’s nonresident motorist statute is found at RCW 4.28.185(1)(b).
Due process of law issues with long-arm jurisdiction
Regardless of the fact that Washington’s nonresident motorist statute confers jurisdiction over the out-of-state driver who caused the accident, another issue remains to be satisfied in order to gain personal jurisdiction over that person. That’s requirement of notice that’s reasonably calculated to apprise him or her of the pendency of the action.
Contact an attorney with additional questions
Jurisdictional issues are complicated when an accident is caused by a nonresident driver. You don’t want that driver to slip through the cracks and vanish into thin air. We have the resources required to find people just about anywhere in the United States, and then serve them with a summons and lawsuit for purposes of personal jurisdiction.
Protect your right to compensation for damages that you suffered in an accident by contacting us as soon as possible after the crash for a free consultation and case evaluation. Whether your injuries were caused by a Washington motorist or a nonresident motorist, you deserve full and fair compensation for your injuries.