Car Accident While On Vacation? Here’s What To Do…
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Originally Posted On: https://beersandgordonlaw.com/car-accident-while-on-vacation/
Sun, fun, and…crashes?!
Here’s what to do if you get into a car accident while on vacation.
There’s never a good time to get into a car accident, but it’s arguably much worse when it happens while you’re on vacation.
Your Florida trip is supposed to be a time for fun in the sun and days walking around the theme parks, lounging at the pool, or hanging out at the beach…not calling your insurance company or visiting the emergency room. This is only further complicated if you’re visiting from another state—or country—altogether.
Crashes and collisions happen everywhere, every day, to millions of people. You can’t always prevent them from occurring, but there are some steps you can take afterward to make the entire process as easy as it can possibly be
What To Do After a Car Accident
First, remain calm. While it is obviously stressful to get into a car accident while on vacation, panicking will only make it more difficult to handle the situation.
If you have young children in the car with you, they may be (understandably) upset by the whole ordeal. Seeing that the grown ups are calm will help them calm down, too.
Take a few deep breaths to clear your head. Then, follow these steps:
Ensure Everyone’s Safety
Check that the passengers in all cars are safe and dial 911 for any injuries that require immediate medical attention.
If vehicles are sitting in the way of traffic (and they’re still operational), move them to a safe location, such as the side of the road or a nearby parking lot. This not only removes you from a dangerous situation, it prevents a secondary accident. However, if you need to document who is at fault, you may need to take photographs before the vehicles are moved. For example, if there is a dispute over who moved into which lane, you will want to document the point of impact.
Also, you might have heard that Florida is a no fault state. This doesn’t mean that fault doesn’t matter. It’s still important to determine who is at fault. If it’s the other driver, try and get as much evidence as you can to support that claim. However, avoid admitting the crash was your fault without first speaking with an attorney.
Call the Authorities
This next step is one of the most important: call 911 to have a police officer come to the scene of the accident.
Many people are wary of involving law enforcement, as they don’t want to “make a big deal” out of an accident. However, Florida law actually requires that a police report be filed within 10 days of any accident that causes injury and/or pain.
If the accident happened in the parking lot of a local theme park or other attraction, additional security officers may want to make their own report.
While the police are conducting their own investigation, perform one of your own. Collect the other driver’s information as well as that of any witnesses. If they are willing, record a video of them describing what happened.
It also helps to take pictures of both vehicles. This creates an evidence trail that can be useful in the future.
Make a Claim
If you were driving your own vehicle, call your car insurance company to file an accident claim and ask about any documents that might be required.
If you were driving a rented car, contact the rental car company to notify them of the accident. If you purchased insurance coverage for your trip, don’t assume that you are 100% covered. Ask specifically what your coverage is.
If you were in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, your driver will handle any property damage claims.
Seek Medical Attention
It is very common for your body to experience a surge of adrenaline after a car accident, which prevents you from feeling pain and soreness. Without a professional evaluation, you may not notice the extent of your injuries until days or weeks later.
People often don’t want to give up part of one of their vacation days to treat, but it is important that you do so to document your injuries. You also want to be careful about causing more injuries, for example, by walking around at the parks for several more days while on vacation.
While you don’t have to call an ambulance (save those for life-threatening emergencies!), you also shouldn’t delay this until you get home. In fact, prompt medical treatment shows that you are taking your injuries seriously.
While receiving treatment, let the doctors know that you are on vacation so they can advise you of any extra medical precautions.
Change Travel Arrangements
If the doctor has given you orders that clash with your plans, take time to consider changing your travel arrangements. You may be able to work with the airline to delay a return if you need surgery or need time post-surgery to recover.
It is important that you follow the medical advice on what you should do about traveling.
Connect With a FL Lawyer
While very few people are excited by the prospect of a lawsuit, the reality is that many accident cases do require the assistance of an attorney.
In our experience, car insurance companies don’t hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars without a fight. Instead, they undervalue or even deny your claim. They often agree to pay the medical expenses and then when presented with all of the expenses, the company instead will state that you treated too much.
Having an experienced car accident attorney on your side can ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Why Do I Need a Florida Accident Attorney?
If your case does need to go to trial or mediation, the proceedings will need to take place in the same state as the accident, NOT where you currently live.
Although you might have perfectly capable attorneys in your hometown (even some that you have worked with successfully), you will still need to connect with a Florida-based personal injury attorney. The laws and the way the case will be handled are likely different.
However, you don’t have to look for an attorney who works in the same city or county as your accident. If the crash happened in Orlando, a Winter Springs or Geneva car accident attorney will be perfectly capable of handling your case.
Another thing to consider is the attorney’s qualifications. Not all accident attorneys are created equal! If you drive a truck or motorcycle, there are additional details that need to be considered when handling your case. Look for a dedicated Orlando motorcycle accident attorney or truck accident attorney with the experience at spotting these details.
Involved In a Car Accident While On Vacation In Florida?
We can help!
Contact the attorneys at Beers & Gordon as soon as possible following your car accident so we can advise you of your rights. The success of your case is incredibly important to us and we will be there to guide you through the entire process.
You will want personal attention from a firm that provides that attention. Don’t default to calling the billboard you saw on the side of the road as you waited for the police. Instead, call us; we will be personally invested in both the outcome of your case and the best possible physical recovery for you.
Our attorneys can meet with you virtually and are willing to travel to you, even at your hotel, if need be.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.