Who doesn’t love a good road trip? Whether you’re visiting friends or family, going to explore a new place, or even just traveling for business, it’s nice to get away for a few days. But an auto accident can put a major damper on the fun, especially if you’re outside of the state and don’t know what to do legally.
Seek Medical Care First
The first step to take if you’re involved in an accident out of state is to call the police and make sure everyone is physically okay. If anyone has been hurt, you should immediately call 911 and get emergency medical treatment. If you are injured in an accident, you may not feel pain right away because of the adrenaline your body produces in order to protect you. As such, it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor within a few days of an accident, even if you do not require any immediate emergency medical treatment.
Document the Scene
Once the police have arrived and you know whether or not everyone is okay, the second step is to take photos of the vehicles involved. It is important to get pictures of every angle, each side of the vehicle, the front, the back, license plates, and any skid marks or debris (shattered glass, parts that have fallen off of the car, etc.). You’ll also want to take photos of any injuries you or other passengers have sustained.
Exchanging Info + Contacting Insurance
After taking photos to document the accident, the next step is to exchange names, phone numbers, and insurance information with the drivers of any other vehicles involved. Also, call your insurance agent’s office to let them know what happened. Make sure you tell them where you are as well! It is crucial to remember that you are under the jurisdiction of the city and state you are in. If you are injured or wish to sue the other driver, that lawsuit will be handled in the state in which you had the accident.
Always remember to never admit fault when it comes to car accidents. If you admit fault for any car accident, it may make it more difficult to file a claim against the other driver(s). Also, admitting fault will result in not receiving a fair settlement for any car damage or personal injuries.
What if I’m In a Rental Car?
Unfortunately, when you sign the agreement to rent a car, you assume responsibility for that vehicle. The good news is, if you have the proper insurance coverage, you will most likely be okay. You’ll end up paying a bit more than you would if you were in an accident while driving your own car. If you’re renting a car, it’s a good idea to give your insurance company a call and double-check your coverage so that you have peace of mind. If you’re involved in an accident while driving a rental car, you’ll also want to call the rental company to let them know what happened, in addition to your insurance company, the police, and 911 if necessary.
Save the Receipts
If you need to get your car fixed immediately so that it’s safe to drive it back home, check and see if any of your insurance company’s preferred repair shops have locations nearby. Always keep track of what you’ve had done, how much it was, where it was done, and even the date and time you got the repairs. You may need to provide evidence of these things to the insurance company later.
What If I Committed a Crime?
Was your accident a result of driving under the influence, distracted driving, or another choice that may lead to prosecution? In that case, you may be arrested and/or asked not to leave the state. Follow all of the above steps, and contact your lawyer immediately. Follow all instructions given by law enforcement and remember that you are under their jurisdiction.
We’re Always Here to Help!
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Steuer, Escovar & Coleman Co. LPA are here to help you. Contact us on our website, or call us at (216)-666-5138 for a free consultation at our Cleveland, Ohio office today!