How to Handle Out-of-State Car Accidents
The last thing you want to worry about while enjoying a summer vacation is the possibility of getting into a car accident in another state. Getting the proper medical care and auto repair as well as securing the funding for both tasks can be a hassle in an unfamiliar area. There’s also the fact that accident and insurance laws can change depending on which state the accident occurred in and how that state’s laws are different from those in your home state.
Unfortunately, out-of-state and out-of-area car accidents can and do happen every day across the United States. Are you traveling through Lexington, KY this summer and are from out of state? If you and your loved ones are involved in an out-of-state accident, the best thing you can do is remain calm, ensure everyone receives the medical care they need, and follow these 5 basic steps:
- Call the police
No matter what state you’re in, you’ll want to call the police after a car accident. A police report must be filed even if no one is injured, and if you ever need a record of the accident later, a police report is always going to be the first document you need. Calling the police also ensures, of course, that anyone who’s injured gets the care they need immediately.
- Call your insurance provider
In addition to reporting the accident to your insurance provider, you’ll need to ask your provider a few specific questions since the accident occurred in a different state than your home state. You’ll want to ask what your policy covers in regards to out-of-state towing, out-of-state auto repair, and long distance car rental options. Out-of-state coverage usually differs significantly from in-state coverage.
Make sure to ask for nearby towing and car repair recommendations. Most insurance companies will be able to give you nationwide recommendations even if they don’t have an office in that state.
- Don’t agree to sign anything
You may feel pressured to settle the accident’s insurance claims quickly due to any time and travel constraints you face, but don’t make the mistake of signing claim forms before considering all of your options. It’s never a good idea to settle too quickly. Your best course of action is to refuse to sign any paperwork until you have a moment to consider all of your legal options.
- Get your contacts in order
When you need to return home, make sure you have the necessary contact information and documents before you leave. Obtain a copy of the police report and make sure to get the contact information of the officer who reported to the scene as well as of any insurance adjusters involved and any witnesses who saw the accident. It’s certainly possible to continue settling your car accident injury lawsuit or claim from home, but without the right contact information, you could potentially place yourself at a disadvantage.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer if necessary
If you or anyone you love sustained serious injuries in the accident, you will want to consider consulting with a personal injury or car accident attorney—especially if you know the insurance claim might be difficult to settle or that you may face unfair financial setbacks that place your family in jeopardy.
Insurance settlements, unfortunately, are not always fair. That’s why attorneys like Lexington, KY personal injury lawyer Todd W. Burris are willing to fight on your behalf and make certain your voice doesn’t go unheard. If you end up needing a car accident attorney in Lexington, KY, contact our Lexington office today for a free, zero-obligation consultation.