After months of saving, planning, and counting down, the time has come for you to go on that much-needed vacation. Your bags are packed and you’re ready to hit the road. As you’re cruising along exploring the sites around you, out of nowhere comes a car that smacks into you causing a collision. As far as you know, you haven’t sustained any injuries but since it’s more than just a fender bender, you have no choice but to deal with the matter.
Miles away from home and in a real panic, following these next steps for dealing with an accident while out of town is extremely important.
Seek Medical Attention
If you or someone in your car has significant injuries they need to be treated right away. Immediately contact emergency medical services in the area so that an ambulance can be dispatched to your location.
Call the Cops
No matter where the accident happens or who you believe to be at fault, you need to contact local authorities. A police report will be needed when you file your insurance claim to determine who is responsible for paying for damages.
Hopefully, you have coverage for your vehicle. It’s so easy to find auto insurance online that it should be added to your list of things to do before hitting the road. Now that you’re involved in an accident, you’ll need to file an insurance claim. In order to get financial coverage for damages and medical expenses, you’ll need to have general information on the other driver including their insurance company name, their driver’s license, and contact information. If they won’t or can’t (language barriers) provide it to you, ask the police to provide this to you in the report.
Look for Witnesses
There’s usually someone around who saw what happened. As fault will be a determining factor in who pays for the damages of the crash, you need as many people on your side as possible. Look for witnesses in the area, and if you can, get their contact information so they can be contacted by the authorities, your personal injury attorney, or the insurance company for further details.
Pictures are also evidence that can help determine fault at an accident or for assessing the damage. Take as many pictures as you can of your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, the accident scene, and any physical injuries you may have for documentation.
File a Claim
After the authorities have come, you’ve received medical care, and the accident scene has been cleared you need to file an insurance claim. Contact your insurance provider to report the accident and supply them with your side of the story and supporting details. A claims adjuster will review everything and get back to you.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own while on vacation, hiring a personal injury attorney may be wise. Personal injury laws vary greatly by state and you’ll want an expert from the town you were injured in to plead your case for you.
The process immediately following an accident while on vacation are very much the same as if it happened near your home. The only difference is, you’ll need to be very thorough with your reporting and know exactly where to go to find information. Since you’re not a resident, gaining access to information after you’ve left can prove difficult and prolong the outcome of your case. The hope is that this doesn’t happen to you, but it’s always better to be safe than it is to be sorry.