Follow these tips to help lower the stress of an out-of-state-accident…
Being in a car accident is stressful enough, and it becomes even more nerve-wracking if the accident takes place in a state you don’t live in. Not only can road conditions and traffic patterns vary from state to state, upping your risk of being in a car accident while away, but in the event of an accident you are far from home with delayed travel plans.
Here are some basic steps to take following an out-of-state car accident.
Make sure others are safe. This should always be the first step in any accident, whether inside your home state or out. Ensure that vehicles are pulled over safely and seek medical attention for any individuals who may need to be checked out or taken to the hospital.
Call the police. Even if no one is injured and damage is minimal, always call the police and report the accident.
Exchange information and gather evidence. Exchange contact information with the other drivers involved in the accident including names, addresses, and phone numbers. Do your best to gather evidence yourself. This includes writing down the contact information of any witnesses and taking pictures of the scene from many different angles and distances. Take pictures of the vehicles, surrounding area and even road conditions.
Do NOT discuss the accident: Any admission of fault or discussion about details of the crash could potentially damage the intents of future claims.
As soon as possible, contact your car insurance provider and make them aware of your situation. This process is the same as it would be in your home state. Discuss your plans with the insurance company, for example whether or not you need to have your car repaired immediately or later when you are home.Towing your car home can be a major expense, and not all insurance providers cover the cost. Ask about whether or not your policy covers out-of-state towing, car rentals or even car repairs to help you get on your way. The majority of major insurance providers have claim adjusters across the country, so wherever you are, they should be able to access your information and get to you if you need them.
The minimum liability required for car insurance varies by state, and it’s a possibility that your insurance minimum is lower than the state in which your accident occurs. Most major insurance providers will make adjustments to account for an isolated incident; however, this is not a guarantee. For more permanent stays, a new insurance policy will be required to match the state’s minimum.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
In the event of an out-of-state accident, it’s recommended to hire a personal injury attorney from your home state. This way, if the case is prolonged, your attorney will be close by to guide you through the legal processes once you return home. Familiarity can also go a long way when it comes to unfamiliar operations and procedures, and a local attorney can give you peace of mind. However, make sure your chosen attorney is familiar with how laws vary between your home state and the state in which the accident occurred.
- Before traveling, make yourself aware of any differing laws or insurance minimums present in the states you plan to travel through.
- Check with your insurance company prior to leaving and let them know where you plan to go. Ask if your policy will adjust to meet other states’ minimum liability requirements and what the coverage looks like for long-distance towing. If traveling across country borders, ask if insurance will still be available in those countries.
- Always carry with you the contact information of a reliable personal injury attorney based in your home state. This can make things easier should an accident occur.
If you’ve been in an accident either in or out of the state of Florida and need legal representation, contact the professional team of car accident attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo. Our team has the experience and know-how to guide you through your accident and the legal procedures that may follow. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Additional reading: What to Do When You Have a Car Accident.