Vacations should be about having fun, but unfortunately, accidents do happen. When you’re driving in unfamiliar surroundings, you may find yourself in a car accident while on a car trip.
No matter whether you rent a car or take your own, it’s vital you know what to do if you find yourself in a car accident while you’re out of town on vacation. If you’re getting ready for a road trip and unsure of what you would do, have a look below to learn what do in the event of a car accident before you hit the road.
Obtain a police report
When you get into a car accident on vacation, getting a police report is even more important than when you get into an accident at home. If you go to court to seek compensation from the other party, a detailed police report of the incident could be a critical piece of evidence.
Once authorities have arrived on the scene, don’t admit fault to the officer (or to anyone), and be sure to ask questions about how they’re processing the report. If something seems off, or if you feel the events aren’t being accurately recorded, use your phone to record all communications as a backup.
Review state insurance laws
Each state has its auto insurance laws. Some states such as Florida, New Jersey, and Michigan are no-fault states, which means that your insurance will pay for damages to you and your vehicle after a car accident. However, most states are at-fault states, which means that the driver who is at fault for the car crash must pay for damages, typically through their insurance company.
This can hugely affect how you handle filing a claim and communicating with your insurance representative. Take a look at www.dmv.org before reaching out to your insurance company.
Call your insurance company
When you’re in a car accident away from home, often insurance adjusters expedite claims, which can help to make the situation less stressful. Also, your insurance company can help you find an affiliated collision repair center nearby because you likely won’t be familiar with the area, and your insurance company probably won’t be paying for your vehicle to be towed back to your local collision repair shop at home.
Dealing with a totaled car on a road trip
The last thing you want to deal with on vacation is a totaled car, but if your car does get totaled after an accident you’ll want to make sure you stay long enough to sign the title away. If you leave to go back home before doing so, your totaled vehicle could be left for a long time in a junkyard and rack up storage charges that you’d be responsible for.
If you’d rather not leave your totaled car in a junkyard away from home though, you have the right to transport it back home. This process can be difficult to carry out, but you can find options such as renting a U-Haul and towing it on a trailer or hiring a car transportation company to bring your totaled vehicle back home.
Contact a lawyer
Insurance and traffic laws vary from state to state, so consider hiring a car accident attorney in Albuquerque, Dallas, Los Angeles, or whichever city you had the accident in. Their knowledge and expertise with the state laws make them more adept at handling your case. It’s your right to choose a lawyer from your home state though, or no attorney at all but that is not advised.