How to Handle a Car Accident While on Vacation
You’re planning a much-deserved vacation to Boynton Beach, Florida. You arrive at the airport, get into your rental car, and go about your way. Minutes from getting to your hotel, you get hit by a reckless driver.
While there’s nothing enjoyable about being involved in a car wreck, there are ways to make this event as stress-free as possible. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Stay Calm
First things first, you need to stay calm and ensure everyone in the vehicle is okay. If someone is hurt, seek medical attention immediately.
You still need to get looked at by a doctor even if you feel fine. Injuries don’t always show up right away, so be sure to get a quick check-up before the day is over.
2. Call the Police
Before you contact a Boynton Beach car accident lawyer, contact the local authorities to file an accident report. This report will serve as helpful evidence if you decide to press charges.
The accident report will outline what happened. Failing to report the incident could be considered a hit and run, so make sure you don’t miss this vital step.
3. Exchange Contact Information
You need to exchange contact info with any drivers involved, including:
- Phone Number
- Insurance company
- Insurance policy number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate
If there are any witnesses around, be sure to get their contact information as well, in case you need a witness statement.
4. Take Pictures and Notes
Take images of the accident scene. The photographic records should include pictures of any vehicles involved in the collision and any injuries incurred.
Document vehicle information of cars involved, and be sure to obtain a copy of the crash report. You’ll also want to retain medical documents and expenses.
When proving liability, all of this will help prove your innocence.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
You’ll need to make your insurance company aware of the accident (even if you don’t plan on filing a claim). Understand that not all car accidents will cause your insurance to rise. For instance, if your vehicle was in a hit-and-run accident due to another driver’s negligence, your insurance premiums may not change. Similarly, if the wreck resulted from an animal colliding with the vehicle, it may not affect your rates.
6. Get in Touch With the Rental Car Company
Inform the rental car company of what’s happened. Ask them how you should proceed. They will likely want you to start by filling out an incident report. They will inform you about what the car rental company will cover versus the damages you’ll be responsible for covering as the driver.
Every rental car company works differently, so ask about collision insurance before renting the vehicle. If you’re being held liable for damages you don’t believe to be your fault, seek legal help as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to tell you if you’ve got a case.
While we hope nothing of this sort happens on your beach getaway, it’s a good idea to be made aware of how to act in the case of an accident.
Follow the six steps above, and you’ll be back on your way to a relaxing getaway in no time.