Knowing what to do if you were in a car accident is something everyone needs to think about when they are heading off on a road trip or grand vacation. Unfortunately, this is often the farthest thing from people’s minds. The global epidemic of auto accident fatalities and disabilities has slowly gained more and more recognition as a major public health issue. People need to be more mindful of not only the act of driving but also of what to do when accidents do occur. The first step to being informed about global road safety is knowing the facts and knowing what to do if you were involved in a car accident, whether at home, or on vacation, or on the job.
Auto Accidents By the Numbers
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, lowering the frequency of auto accidents and road crashes requires commitment from local law enforcement and political officials as well as better decision-making from drivers and pedestrians alike. Collaborative efforts are needed from local governments, business leaders, local organizations, individual drivers, and international agencies in order to make a dent in current traffic accident statistics. It also requires the participation and support of multiple industry leaders and professionals. From roadway engineers and crewmen, to those who maintain traffic systems, and even police and law enforcement officials, everyone involved in the care, maintenance, and use of national roadways has a part to play in keeping them safe.
This is why there has been such a strong shift in focus as more and more campaigns and petitions are focused on addressing the growing issue with road travel and safety. These steps are essential to raise understanding of the issue and motivate individuals and governments to take action. For far too long people have been willing to pass the buck, look the other way, and accept a certain number of deaths as ‘acceptable.’ This can no longer be the case as the numbers of deaths related to vehicle collisions and auto accidents continues to climb near every year. With everything from DUI and reckless driving to vehicle failure and human error contributing to the increasing numbers of accidents and fatalities, it is a monumental task to be certain. And it is even more reason to be mindful and cautious as you plan for your next family trip. Here are some specific things to pay attention to if you find yourself wondering what to do if you were in a car accident while on vacation.
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, particularly a bad one, adrenaline is likely pumping, and you will feel nervous and jittery. Some people describe the feeling immediately after an accident as feeling numb, high, or disconnected from their body. This can make it difficult to know how badly you are hurt if you are able to get out of the vehicle and walk around afterward. It can also complicate the process of knowing what to do if you were in a car accident that doesn’t seem to have been all that bad.
Of course, it is always good to be able to get up and walk away from an auto accident, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are in the clear. Due to the adrenaline and shock, your body may be experiencing sensory issues, and you may not notice all of your injuries or warning signs. This is why it is always recommended going to get medical care following an auto accident. In fact, most insurance agencies won’t honor claims for injuries if you were not checked out by medical professionals within a few hours of your accident. Even when you are out of town on vacation, you should still take the time to get checked out and ensure you are medically clear. It is always in your best interest to get checked out after an accident. You will either get a clean bill of health or you will uncover injuries that need to be dealt with. Both need to be considered after an auto accident.
If you have questions about what needs to be done to get medical documentation of injuries and what protocols need to be followed, you need to get in touch with a licensed and experienced car accident lawyer right away. They can help you understand the legal policies and procedures involved. They will help you know what to do to medical protect yourself and help you determine what to do if you were in a car accident, no matter how minor or severe. Even when you are out of town and traveling you can still find legal assistance to help you where you are. You can usually find someone to at least keep your legal rights protected until you can get back home and seek advice from your own personal legal team.
Once you and anyone else involved in the car crash has been taken care of and deemed ok and medically stable, the adrenaline may start to come down a little bit, and you may begin to think about other aspects of the aftermath. You will likely find your attention shifting to your vehicle and how badly it might be damaged. This is yet another part of the puzzle that people find themselves in when they are asking the question of what to do if you were in a car accident. And just like with the personal and medical needs, there are several things to keep in mind when it comes to vehicle damages, particularly if they occur while you are off on vacation.
Dealing with auto collision repair can be stressful and frustrating, even in the best of situations. You may end up without access to your vehicle for a time while repair work is done. You may lose your vehicle completely if it is deemed unrepairable and is totaled. In either case you will have to deal with the financial repercussions of the damage. Calling your lawyer to discuss the accident even when you are out of town and to talk things over with them should always be your first move. Then you can call the insurance company if your lawyer is not handling that for you, and give them the details of the accident and what has happened.
With insurance claims in place and determined after the accident, you will need to find an automotive repair shop to take your vehicle to for repairs. In some cases, you are free to choose who you want to use and in other cases, the insurance company may restrict you to a few choices only. Even though you want to get your vehicle back as soon as possible, this is not a decision to rush! Aside from your communications with your lawyer about dealing with the insurance company, the call to the mechanic may be the most important call you make. They can help you figure out what to do if you were in a car accident and your vehicle suffered damages while you were traveling with your family.
Choosing your auto body repair mechanic is important because they will be the ones to repair your vehicle and ensure it is safe to drive again. They are also the ones who can offer auto upgrades and suggested maintenance improvements that can help keep your vehicle in good shape and running better down the road. Getting your vehicle repaired following a road crash is a big deal and even with insurance coverage, there will likely still be out-of-pocket expenses, so you will want to be sure you are working with someone reputable and trustworthy right from the start.
The final question that will need to be answered when thinking about what to do if you were in a car accident is determining if there are any legal repercussions or fall out. In most cases, an auto accident with injuries will end up with some sort of personal injury legal claim, whether from you or the other driver. This is common but is still a serious matter that will require professional legal assistance from an injury lawyer. You may have to appear in court to fight for medical and financial compensation for injuries. You may also have to appear in court to fight against a personal injury claim if you were deemed responsible for the accident in any way. This is why having sound legal counsel after an accident is so important and is also why you should always speak to your legal team before talking to anyone else after an auto accident.
Finding a good auto accident lawyer can be tricky at times, but it is an important step to take to protect yourself and your family. This is also why it is highly advisable to have a lawyer already on board. Knowing who you can turn to immediately following an accident will make things much easier in the short-term and long-term aftermath. With a lawyer on retainer and already familiar with you and your family as a personal client, you will have a much easier time dealing with everything that is involved with auto accident aftermath. Knowing what to do if you were in a car accident gets easier when you have a legal advisor you know and trust.
The final legal consideration you will want to keep in mind when dealing with all the fallout regarding what to do if you were in a car accident while on vacation is how to deal with the automotive insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious for not wanting to pay claims and for doing everything they can to offer you as little as possible in compensation. Working with your auto accident and injury lawyer will make it easier to stand toe to toe with the insurance company in court, so you can fight for the compensation you deserve. Getting coverage for injuries, expenses, loss of property, trauma, and quality of life issues is perhaps the greatest benefit there is from working with a legal expert. It is definitely the most important step you will take as you work out what to do if you were in a car accident.
Final Thoughts on Dealing With Auto Accident Aftermaths While on Vacation
People spend a great deal of time on the road every single day. Driving to and from work and school, running errands, visiting friends and family, dealing with business trips, and going on vacation are all common causes for people being on the roads for potentially long periods of time. And despite all the best efforts, accidents do still occur on a regular basis. Some are minor with no damage or simple fender benders, but others can be very serious and quite devastating. Knowing what to do if you were in a car accident is something everyone should think about and have a game plan for. Unfortunately, most people give it no thought at all until they are standing on the side of the road looking at their wrecked vehicle.
Having a game plan in place and having a trusted lawyer and legal expert already on hand can be a big relief when you are dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident, no matter how minor or severe it might be. This is why planning and careful consideration is needed before you ever head out on any long road trip or vacation. You need to have a plan and know what to do to keep yourself and your family safe.
If you do not already have legal counsel, be sure to call your local law firm and find a personal lawyer that you can work with before, during, and after any issues arise. This is the best way to stay safe even after an auto accident because you will know what to do if you were in a car accident while off on vacation!