Road Trips and Accidents: How to Handle the Unexpected!
When most think about traveling plans, very few consider unforeseen events like an accident. Though most accidents occur within a five mile radius of a person’s home, the potential for getting in an accident while you’re traveling is also likely. While being a safe driver, following the rules of the road, and wearing protective gear (i.e. seat belts, helmets, etc.) are all great preventative measures to take, it is equally as important to know what to do if you’re in an accident while out of town.
Since the best way to deal with an accident is to prevent it in the first place, let’s first go over some preventative measures to take as you prepare for your vacation:
Research Road Rules
One of the biggest issues with accidents while traveling is unfamiliarity. Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, when you’re not familiar with the roads and driving rules it can make a big difference in how you drive. Before hitting the road, it is a good idea to check the road rules within the given state or country to ensure that you understand them.
Make Sure Your Paperwork is In Order
Being prepared in the event of an accident is important. You’ll want to make sure that all of your paperwork is in order and in your possession when operating a motor vehicle. Here are some important documents to check:
Health insurance – check your health insurance policy to find out what is covered in the event that you need to seek medical attention outside of your state. This is especially important for those that are traveling outside of the country.
Check your insurance – review your auto or motorcycle insurance for coverage options when out of town. If you’re going to be driving a rental, be sure to review coverage for this as well to prevent any complications should you need to file a claim.
Whether you’re at fault or not, being involved in an accident comes with veritable sea scroll of legalities. Though some insurance claims go through without a hitch, there are instances in which you could run into complications. Having people you can refer to for legal advice, such as personal injury car or motorcycle accident lawyers, can help smooth the process along.
Wherever you’re going to travel be sure that you review the hospitals in the area. Should you need to be taken to an emergency room for medical care you want make sure it is a facility that is reputable and accepts your health insurance.
What to Do in an Accident
Now that you’ve covered the preventative measures, let’s look at what you should do if you’re involved in an accident while on vacation.
1. If you’re not injured you can get away from the vehicle. Injuries or not, if the vehicle is in danger then you need to remove yourself out of the way as fast as possible.
2. Contact the Authorities. The next thing you want to do is get the police and emergency personnel on the scene. The police can document and file an accident report while emergency personnel can take care of any injuries you or the other party may have sustained.
3. Seek medical attention. Once the emergency team arrives on the scene, it is a good idea to get checked out. Whether your injuries are major or minimal, you’ll need to have an accurate account to provide to your vehicle and health insurance providers.
4. Exchange information. To the best of your ability try and exchange information with the other driver. This would include their contact information along with insurance company’s name and their policy number.
5. Take photos. As long as the vehicle is not in danger and you’re not too badly hurt you can take photos of the vehicle and the surrounding environment where the accident took place. This will be important for your insurance claim.
6. Obtain a copy of the police report. Most insurance companies will ask for a copy of the police report to attach to the claim. Find out from local authorities where you can obtain a copy.
7. Contact an attorney (if necessary). If you sustained serious injuries or there is a dispute about who was at fault, you’ll want to contact an accident attorney to assist you.
8. Contact your insurance company. Once you’ve gathered all the above information you can file a claim with your insurance company.
No one wants to be involved in an accident – especially not when they’re on vacation. Unfortunately, accidents happen when you least expect them. That’s why it is important when planning a road trip of any kind to be proactive. Research insurance coverage, check out local hospitals, and also have an attorney in mind. Should you get in an accident, remember the above mentioned steps so that you can begin the recovery process.
Topic: Road Trips and Accidents: How to Handle the Unexpected!