Car accidents are stressful at any time of the year, in any weather, no matter where you’re driving. But during the summer, with so many more drivers on the road, driving in unfamiliar places, an out of state car accident is much more likely!
Do you know what to do when you’re in an accident out of state? Do you know if your insurance covers you when you’re out of state? What about finding a new auto repair shop, or visiting a doctor?
Auto Insurance Check-Up
Before you embark on a road trip, call your auto insurance company to verify that they cover you where you’re going. Most policies cover you in the 48 contiguous states. Your insurance company can provide you with out-of-state policy details.
Traffic Laws Check-Up
Do a quick google for the states you’ll be driving through and verify that the traffic laws are the same. It is unlikely that they’ll be much different, but some states do have varied laws. Keep an eye out for road signs while you’re there!
Document your Accident Thoroughly and Immediately
You are in a new place, you’re not a local, and it won’t be as easy for you to get information and documentation later as it would if you were home.
● Call the police and make a police report. Make sure to get a copy or have one sent to you as soon as possible.
● Get the contact and insurance information from the other driver and make sure it is accurate. Write down their license plate number and vehicle make and model.
● Take photos of the scene, including the street signs, the vehicles, the location, and any people who are nearby.
● Talk to anyone who witnessed the accident and get witness statements, names, and contact information.
● Write down what happened as best as you can remember it.
Do you need a doctor?
If you need to go to the hospital, go. If you are concerned that you might need to see a doctor, do it now. Don’t risk your health because you are in an unfamiliar place.
Consider a Lawyer
If you think you might need a lawyer, you’ll need one in the state where the accident occurred. You can ask for references or you can ask a lawyer in your home state for a referral, but don’t give an official statement to anyone except the police if you’re considering a lawyer, even if an insurance adjuster shows up.