Due to coronavirus, when people are gradually returning to travel, they’re often changing how they do things. For example, rather than flying, a lot more travelers are driving to their destinations. That can mean generally more people on the road when you’re on vacation, which can in increase the likelihood of being in an accident.
The last thing you likely want to deal with on vacation is a car accident, but what should you do if you find yourself in that situation?
The following are general things that you should know when it comes to dealing with a car accident while you’re on vacation, or even if you’re away from home and traveling for work.
Obtain a Police Report
No matter where you have a car accident, whether on vacation or close to your home, make sure you get a police report.
A police report will provide a detailed third-party account of what was found at the scene of the accident.
You may need that police report if you are trying to get a payment from the other driver’s insurance company or if you go to court.
When a police officer is at the scene of a car accident, don’t admit any blame or fault. Ask questions, however, if you have them.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Many of the steps for dealing with a car accident on vacation are the same as what you would do at home.
For example, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
If you let your company know that you had an accident when you were traveling, they can work to try and speed-up the claims process.
Your insurance company can also connect with you with a car repair center near where you’re located at the time. It might be nearly impossible to have your car towed back to where you live, so it’s usually much better to have the car repaired in your vacation location if repairs are needed.
If you use a repair center recommended by your insurance company, then it helps you make sure your repairs are under warranty.
Contact the Rental Company If Necessary
If you’re driving a rental car, after you get a police report and talk to your insurance company, you’ll need to contact the car rental company.
The rental company will tell you the steps you should take next, and they may also be able to provide you with another vehicle.
Don’t tell the other driver, if there is one, that you’re in a rental car. They might use that as a way to try and take advantage of the insurance policy the rental company has.
If you get in an accident with a rental car you should also check with all of your credit card companies to see if they have any additional insurance policies, if you didn’t pay for the one offered at the rental counter.
If you need to rent a car out-of-pocket because of your accident, keep all of your receipts.
Talk to a Local Lawyer
It might be a good idea to proactively speak to a local lawyer, wherever you are, and especially if someone was injured. Every state has their own laws regarding car accidents, and that’s why you need to speak with someone wherever you are at the time of your accident.
What If Your Car Is Totaled?
If your car is totaled on vacation, and it’s your own car and not a rental car, your insurance company should be able to help you.
However, your car is likely going to be towed to a salvage yard, and then you’ll have to sign the title at that time.
Otherwise, if you leave your car too long in a junkyard you may have to pay storage fees out-of-pocket.
Before you sign the title over, make sure you’ve removed everything from the vehicle, and then if necessary, ship it home.
Throughout this entire process, whether the accident is minor or more serious, you will need to keep up with everything you have to pay for out of pocket because eventually you should be reimbursed.
Keep all of your receipts, as well as the logging the costs you might have to pay for flights to get back home or for another rental car.
No one wants to deal with a car accident while on vacation, but be proactive in how you handle it so that it’s not as challenging to handle later down the road.