What to do when accidents happen.
Car accidents are always stressful situations. This is especially true when dealing with an incident far away from home. Instead of being able to enjoy a family vacation, you have to deal with the aftermath of a car wreck. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you’re bruised, stranded, and without a car.
Here are a few tips for handling accidents while on a cross country road trip:
Call the Police
After experiencing an accident on the road, it’s imperative to call the police as soon as possible. Not only will these officials ensure that everyone is safe, but they will also take time to file an official report. This police report will be used for any legal repercussions and for insurance claims.
When an officer arrives at the scene, it is important to remain calm and grounded. You should avoid making any admissions of guilt. Drivers should also remember to ask the officer questions about the processes that will follow the accident. If you have any uncertainties about the way officers are handling the situation, feel free to record the entire interaction on your smartphone. This can also be an invaluable piece of evidence if you have to deal with the courts or insurance agencies.
Understanding Your Rights
If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to understand all of the rights to which you are entitled. Incidents involving motorcycles are often handled differently than car accidents in a legal sense. Additionally, these laws will vary between each state. Understanding your rights when involved in a motorcycle wreck can help save you a lot of stress and money in the long run
Read About Local Insurance Laws
Automobile insurance varies between each state. For example, some states exercise a no-fault policy. Under these laws, an insurance company must pay for the damage an individual experiences after an accident. In contrast, other states have at-fault policies that have the opposite results. Drivers who cause an accident have to pay for any damage caused to their person or their vehicle. These differing laws could help determine how you should go about filing a claim with your insurance company.
Call Your Insurance Company
Although most people don’t have a blossoming relationship with their insurance companies, these organizations can truly be helpful after an accident. Claims agents will typically work to expedite claims regarding accidents that happened in another state. This should help to alleviate some stress on your end. Before filing a claim with your insurance company, it is important to organize what you want to report. While it is crucial to remain honest, having a coherent claim can make the process much smoother.
If you’re unfortunate enough to experience a severe crash while on vacation, such as getting backed into by construction vehicles, your car may be unsalvageable. In these situations, you have to decide what to do with your car. If possible, you should wait until the tow truck arrives in order to sign away your vehicle’s title. This will help you secure an insurance payout.
Before the tow truck will haul your vehicle, all personal belongings will have to be collected. Many people start to panic at this point in the process. If you’re able to secure a pickup service, these belongings can simply be transferred to the other vehicle. You can always ship excess items via delivery couriers such as FedEx, UPS, or USPS. It’s important to make sure that all items of value are removed from a vehicle that will be towed. Many states don’t have laws protecting an individual’s property in a towed vehicle.
Hire a Local Lawyer
Even if you have a preferred lawyer at home, it is advisable to hire an attorney from the state where the accident occurred. Traffic laws and insurance policies vary between states. Lawyers from your home state may not be able to determine the best course of action if the accident happened somewhere else. Fortunately, finding a lawyer in another state is just as easy as finding one at home. Although you have the right to hire an attorney from home, it isn’t recommended.
Head Back Home
There is nothing worse than having to end a road trip because of an accident. However, there are times when this is the ideal response to an unforeseen incident. Continuing on with the road trip could cause more problems in the long run. If you decide to return home before finishing the road trip, make sure you keep track of all transportation and accommodation expenses. These costs will be important details when reporting the accident to your insurance company.
Nothing puts a dent in a family road trip like a car accident. These situations are stressful, time-consuming, and unforeseen. After making sure everyone is safe, you can start handling the situation. These tips can help you handle the incident in a productive, efficient, and thorough manner.
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