Whether you are involved in a minor fender bender or a serious accident, dealing with a car accident is always stressful. But when a car accident happens on vacation, the aftermath can be overwhelming.
Dealing with an out-of-state car accident can be a huge hassle for many reasons:
- You are far away from home
- You may be unfamiliar with the area
- You may not know who to call for help
- You may have been driving a rental car
- You may be dealing with serious injuries that prevent you from traveling home
Any one of these factors can make it difficult to deal with the aftermath of an accident. But often, accident victims face several of these complicating factors.
There are a few things accident victims should keep in mind if an accident occurs while on vacation:
- Call 911: It is important to call 911 no matter where the accident occurs and even if there are no apparent injuries. If you are unable to call, ask a passenger or passersby to call for you. And, in case you were wondering, when you call 911 from an out-of-state phone number, the call will reach local emergency responders.
- Check for injuries: Not all injuries are evident in the moments after an accident. Even when you are on vacation, your health is always your number one priority. You should consider getting checked out at a local emergency room if you believe you may have suffered injuries and even if you feel like you have not.
- Obtain a police report: Request a copy of the police report. It is important to do this right away, because it can be difficult to obtain once you are back home and forced to deal with an out-of-state police department.
- Rental car issues: If you were driving a rental car, you must notify the rental car company of the accident. If you refused insurance from the rental company, you may still be covered under your own auto insurance. Also, certain credit cards offer rental car coverage if the purchase was made on that credit card.
- Document the accident scene: Take photos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and any structures or evidence related to the accident. Exchange insurance and contact information with other drivers and any witnesses. This information may be impossible to gather after the fact – so make a point to do it while still at the scene of the accident.
- Talk to an attorney: If you or your family member is injured due to the negligence of another driver, you should talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The laws relating to personal injury claims vary from state to state so it is advisable that you consult with an attorney that is licensed to practice law in the state in which the accident occurred as they will be familiar with applicable laws and any special circumstances that may affect your potential case.
It is important to ensure that your rights are protected no matter where your car accident occurred. Contact an attorney from Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner to schedule a free consultation in the Houston area.