A vacation is supposed to be a time of relaxation, enjoyment, and adventure. But any time you hope in a car and cruise down the interstate for a few hundred miles, there’s always the risk of a car accident. If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been involved in a car crash far from home, it’s important that you know what to do.
5 Steps You Need to Take
There’s no perfect playbook or response plan to help you deal with a car accident on vacation, but there are some smart steps you can take to handle the situation with particular care. Here are a few to consider:
It doesn’t matter if you’re down the street from your house or on a lonely back road far from home, you should call 911 after a car accident occurs. Depending on the factors, you may only need a police officer to file a report. If there are injuries to yourself or others, you’ll also want to call an ambulance to the scene. The 911 operator can help you get the right professionals to the scene.
The police report is vital to your case, particularly if you think someone else was at fault. If you don’t get a police report from an officer on the scene, you’ll have a very difficult time obtaining any insurance coverage or damages you need later on.
Get Medical Attention
If you need medical attention for injuries, get it right away. Don’t try to tough it out or worry about seeing a doctor outside of your insurance network. All of this can be dealt with at a later date. Right now, it’s your health that’s the primary concern.
Adjust Your Vacation Plans
You’ll almost certainly have to adjust your vacation plans after a car accident. This may look like canceling the trip prematurely and returning home. If the injuries aren’t extremely serious, it may just look like delaying or adjusting your itinerary.
If you’re far away from home and your vehicle is totaled, you should look into car rentals or flights home. Keep track of these extra expenses as you may be entitled to reimbursement.
Be Prudent and Meticulous
“If you continue on with your vacation, despite your injury, be prudent when photographing and memorializing your trip on social media,” HG.org advises. “If an insurance company can manipulate the story behind your pictures to convince jurors you weren't too injured, they will. It's a powerful tactic, and can destroy your case.”
Be meticulous with everything you do after an accident. The more information you can document and record for yourself, the easier it’ll be to build a case.
Find an Attorney
“One of the threshold issues in a car accident case is determining who is responsible for the crash and – it follows – the injuries and losses suffered by drivers, passengers and others,” Becker Law Office explains.
Though it may seem straightforward in your eyes, determining fault in a car accident is a challenging thing. And depending on the state where the accident occurred, laws could vary quite significantly. That’s why you’re encouraged to find a local attorney to look into your situation. Even if you must return home, you can still work with your attorney remotely to come up with a case.
Have a Plan Ahead of Time
As a general rule of thumb in life, you need to know what you’re going to do in a particular situation before you find yourself in the heat of the moment. Whether it’s a peer pressure situation or a dangerous accident, planning ahead will allow you to visualize the steps that should be taken, which eliminates some of the choices that you’d otherwise have to make when emotions are running high and your brain isn’t working clearly.
While you never plan on getting in a car accident – especially when you’re on vacation – let this be a lesson on the importance of being prepared for whatever comes your way. By having a plan, you can make smart choices that benefit you – even in the most trying of circumstances.