Vacations are supposed to be a time to relax and unwind, and there are few better places to do that than in sunny Florida. You may be dreaming of spending your Florida vacation lying on the beach, drinking tropical cocktails, and unwinding under the shade of a palm tree. But what do you do when your trip is interrupted by a car wreck?
Car accidents are stressful at the best of times, but they can be overwhelming when you’re away from home. Read on to learn what to do if you’re involved in an accident while you’re traveling.
In the immediate moments after a crash, the first thing you need to do is take care of any medical needs. Check yourself and anyone else in the car for injuries, including paying attention to any areas where you feel pain. If you or another passenger are seriously injured, call an ambulance and get the medical attention you need.
Even if you think you aren’t hurt, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional. Often, accident victims may have injuries they don’t discover until weeks or months later. Getting examined early can help you get the treatment you need as soon as possible after the crash.
Once your medical needs have been addressed, you need to call the police. Depending on where you’re traveling, you may be required by law to submit a traffic accident report at the location where the accident occurred. Let’s say you traveled from Oakland Park to Miami, and during your vacation, you were in a car accident. You still need to make sure the police report is filed in Miami. A police report can be an important piece of evidence if you wind up filing a personal injury claim down the line.
The police will take pictures of the scene of the accident and make notes about what happened. They’ll create an official account of the wreck, including who they feel is at fault for the accident. They’ll also gather witness statements and contact information from anyone who’s at the scene of the crash.
After you finish talking to the police, it’s a good idea to exchange contact information with the other driver involved in the crash. For one thing, you’ll likely need their insurance information if the accident does wind up being their fault. But knowing how to contact them can be helpful for a variety of reasons after your wreck.
You may also want to get contact information from the witnesses at the scene of the accident. Even though they won’t be directly involved in an insurance claim, they can help to support your side of the story if your claim winds up getting disputed. Your police report may have this contact information, but it never hurts to have your own copy.
The other important piece of evidence you’ll need to gather at the scene of your wreck is pictures of the crash. Every detail can matter when it comes to getting you a fair settlement. Pictures can help to document how the crash happened, as well as what damage it caused.
As soon as you reasonably can after the wreck, take pictures of the entire scene, making sure you include both cars and the surrounding landscape. Take up-close pictures of any damage to either car. And make sure to take photos from a variety of angles so you get a comprehensive representation of the crash scene.
Once the police reports are managed and you’re in a safer situation, you need to contact your insurance company. Even when you’re out of town or out of state, they’ll need to know about any accidents you’re involved in. And notifying your insurance company as soon as possible after a crash can help you get the best results in a later personal injury claim.
Many drivers are hesitant to tell their insurance companies about crashes because they don’t want their premiums to go up. But keep in mind that not all accidents will cause premium rate changes. For example, if another driver hit your car and the accident was entirely their fault, your rate may not go up at all.
If you were driving a rental car at the time of the crash, you’ll also need to notify them about the accident as soon as possible. Often, these rentals come with their own insurance, so the rental company may cover the cost of some of the damage. In other cases, you may have to pay the cost of some of the damage out of pocket.
If a rental company is asking you to pay for damage from a wreck that wasn’t your fault, a car accident claim can help you cover those costs. In this case, it is also important to seek help from an experienced local attorney. As in the example above, if you were vacationing in Miami and your car accident occurred there, then you should contact a car accident attorney in Miami, FL, who can let you know if you have a valid claim and help you negotiate with the insurance companies to get a fair settlement.
Reach out to a local car accident lawyer who can help you with your case as soon as possible.
The last thing any of us wants while we’re on vacation is to be involved in a car crash. If you were involved in a car accident while traveling, the first thing you need to do is address any medical needs and then call the police. From there, you can exchange contact information with the other driver, take pictures, talk to your insurance and rental car companies, and seek legal help if needed.
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