Summer is right around the corner, and you may be embarking much-deserved international vacation. Whether you take your car or plan to get a rental, it’s important to know what to do in case you find yourself in an accident while vacationing away from home. Falling victim to a car accident is always a scary prospect, but it’s much worse when you are alone in a foreign country on vacation, unaware of the local laws and far away from friends and family.
Collisions and crashes happen everywhere, every day. While you can’t always control them, you can educate yourself on what to do if you ever find yourself in a sticky situation.
What to do if you get in a Car Accident While on Vacation
The first step is to remain calm. Although it’s a stressful time, panicking will make the situation more difficult to manage. If you have children with you, maintain a calm exterior so the little ones can follow suit.
Call the Local Authorities
Check that all passengers in your vehicle are safe. Look for the nearest hospital and rush to it without delay if there has been an injury. “Delaying medical care can be dangerous for your physical well-being,” note accident lawyers at Vanguard Attorneys, “you may not notice the symptoms of a life-threatening injury right away; however, a doctor can conduct tests to diagnose an injury and provide the treatment that you need.”
If you are unsure what to do, contact the local police immediately since they might be able to guide you regarding the process and offer valuable information about doctors and hospitals for further health care.
Exchange Contact Information
Be sure to collect the contact information of any drivers involved, including their names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, insurance companies, insurance policy numbers, and license plate numbers.
If there are any witnesses, make sure to exchange contact information with them, which will come in handy when collecting evidence for the court. Not every foreign car accident will require you to go to court, but it is best to document everything just in case.
Document the Evidence
While the police are conducting their search and investigation of the crash, you should conduct your own investigation. Document everything. Take multiple photos of the accident site from all angles, record the vehicle details of the cars involved, and acquire a copy of the crash report from law enforcement officers. If you have received medical care, be sure to save all the receipts and medical documents.
Get in Touch with your Insurance Company
When vacationing in another country, it is best to have a travel insurance policy that can cover all your medical expenses. If you are insured, inform your travel insurance company about the accident. The travel insurance company can help provide you with local services and give you information on what to do next.
Contact the Car Rental Company
If you were driving a rental car, inform the car company of what has happened. Ask them what additional actions you need to take on your end. The rental car company will notify you about what damage the company will cover and what damage you need to cover as the driver.
Every car rental company operates differently, so inquire about car accident insurance before signing the papers.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
If the car accident on vacation was through no fault of your own, you could hire a car accident lawyer to help you get the appropriate compensation. An experienced attorney will be able to guide you regarding the entire legal process depending on the local laws.
It is highly recommended to get in touch with an attorney and discuss what options you have, the costs you will have to bear, and the possibility of winning the case should it progress.
Seek Advice from Friends and Family
If you are not insured and don’t have a car accident lawyer, it is best to contact your friends and family members, who will be able to guide you regarding the next steps or send help your way. Experiencing a car crash can have impacts beyond the financial and physical elements.
Car crashes can have negative emotional impacts, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and/or depression. Connecting with your network of support back home can help you feel comforted and supported during this difficult time.
A Foreign Car Accident Can Change Your Travel Plans
Getting in a car accident while on vacation can be a nightmare that can quickly turn your trip upside down. To minimize your stress as much as possible, it is best to contact a car accident lawyer immediately after you get injured and keep a record of all the evidence to strengthen your case.