What to do if you’re in a car accident while traveling
Not sure about what to do if you are in a car accident while traveling? This article comes to your rescue with all the information you need.
We tend to make travel plans to make the most of our weekends and holidays. But what if we get into trouble while traveling? An accident can be scarier when we are away on a trip than when we are at home. On trips, we are in a strange place and do not have anyone or businesses we know to fall back on for help. All of this makes the situation tougher to handle.
If you’re planning to travel to Los Angeles, it’s worth bearing in mind that, in 2015, there were 52,000 car accidents in the city. And in 2016, the number rose to 55,350, an increase of 20%.
There’s little you can do to prevent being in an accident. However careful you may be, you could be hit by another driver. So it’s important to be prepared for any situation. If you are planning to go on a vacation by car, keep reading this article for information that will help you if you do have a car accident.
What you need to do after a car accident
As a responsible citizen, there are many steps that you should follow after a car accident (leaving the scene of the accident, whether it was your fault or not is not one of them!).
The steps you take after the accident can help shape the further course of action. According to an experienced car accident lawyer, if you are injured in a car crash that is not your fault, your presence of mind after the accident can play a significant role.
It can help get timely medical help, collect evidence to file for compensation, and act proactively according to the situation. So, here’s what you should do after an accident.
1) Get medical help
According to a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, the first thing you need to do after an accident is check everyone traveling with you is safe and uninjured. If they are hurt, you must seek medical help. Even if you do not see any external injury, it’s important to get a medical checkup in case they have an internal injury that causes severe pain after a few hours.
If you are traveling alone, go for a medical checkup. If you go back to your hotel without a checkup, you may complicate the situation if symptoms start showing later on.
2) Inform the rental company
If you are traveling by a rented car in Los Angeles, you need to inform the company about the accident. They will give you all the required instructions that you need to follow after a rental car accident.
You can also ask for a car replacement so that you can continue your trip. Depending on the circumstances you may be entitled to compensation for all the trouble you are going through. But never disclose any information about your rented car to the other driver. If you do, they can take advantage of your company’s insurance plan.
3) Gather evidence
If you are physically fine, you should focus on collecting evidence. Take pictures of any injuries and car damage to use as proof. These will help you prove your innocence and support a claim.
If possible, also gather some eyewitnesses who will support your claims. The police can then record their testimonials. You can later find your crash report online to help you connect with local service providers such as medical, insurance, and collision repair professionals.
4) Get a lawyer
Whether it’s DUI attorneys or personal injury lawyers, hiring a good legal counsel who is an expert in car accidents should be your next step. If you are in a different country, there can be different traffic laws. So hiring a lawyer could be a wise move, however big or small the accident. This way you can protect yourself from further complications.
A lawyer will also explain your rights and guide you to take legal steps. Hiring a lawyer for auto accident injuries will also provide you with added benefits. If your rental company is taking unfair charges from you, the lawyer will also help you out there.
5) Call your travel insurance company
If you have taken out travel insurance to cover you for your trip, you must give them a call after your accident. There are many benefits that most of us are unaware of. If you call them, they can explain what your policy covers you for in this situation. You could end up saving a significant amount of money which will help you to continue your trip.
6) Stay calm and composed
Keeping your mind calm and your nerves steady are important after an accident. You must remember that you are in a foreign place, among unknown people. If you lose your temper, things can become more difficult.
If you do not understand the language, try to explain the incidents by making gestures or using a mediator. Leaving the scene of the accident would be a bad decision. Make sure that everyone is safe and everything is settled before continuing your trip.
7) Reschedule your plans
After an accident, your travel plans may well need to change. You could have to ask for a car replacement to continue the trip. And if the accident happened in your own car, you may need to rent a new car. In cases of serious injury, you will have to discontinue your trip either to stay for treatment or to return home.
It’s important to be prepared for accidents
When we drive, no matter how careful we are, we can have an accident. Though we usually do not get into accidents while traveling, if we do, it’s important to be prepared.
Check the traffic laws before you start your journey and follow the instructions of your rental company. No one wishes to start their vacation with an accident, but if you have one while in Los Angeles, following these steps will be your best option. Stay safe and enjoy your trip.