When you’re involved in a car accident out of state, it can bring even more stress than if you’d been in a crash at home. Out-of-state crashes could mean having to take your car somewhere unfamiliar for repairs or communicating with insurance companies in different states or drivers in different states. However, it’s important to know how to handle these accidents. The unfortunate reality is that millions of car accidents occur across the country each day, so odds are, you may experience an accident at least once in your lifetime.
Confirm the safety of all involved and call medical assistance if needed. Don’t leave the scene of the accident, and contact the police immediately. Not only is leaving the scene of an accident illegal in most parts of the country, but it’s also vital to get a police report to settle your case.
When the police do arrive at the scene, avoid admitting fault or dismissing the other drivers’ roles in the accident. Stick to the facts of the crash, and refrain from providing more detail than necessary.
Next, it’s important to collect as much information as you can from the scene of the wreck. Take photographs of property damage, injuries, and any other relevant details, such as the road and your surroundings. You should take pictures from different angles and ranges to capture the extent of the auto accident. For example, include photos of the traffic lights and intersection, street signs, and highway signs. If you’re injured, ask a passenger or friend to take photos of your injuries.
After you’ve taken your photographs, exchange information with everybody involved in the wreck. Ensure you obtain other drivers’ contact information, including names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. If other passengers were involved, get their information as well. Remain calm and cooperative as you exchange this information.
When you have all the information you need, contact your insurance company. Let your company know that you were involved in an accident and if applicable, sustained injuries. Again, communicate only the relevant, clear details of the wreck.
If you’ve sustained injuries, seek immediate medical treatment and document your injuries. Even if your injuries don’t seem serious, it’s important to seek treatment, especially since it’s common for injuries to appear later on. Delaying treatment may also weaken your personal injury case since delaying makes it harder to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
When you do seek treatment, maintain detailed medical records and receipts of all appointments, medications, bills, and provider information.
Thankfully, the claims process after an out-of-state accident isn’t much different than the process after an accident at home. Most auto insurance policies extend to all states and territories, as well as Canada. When you call your insurance company to report the crash, they will assign you an insurance adjuster, either within your state or within the state of the accident. Your adjuster will handle your claim and provide more information about the next steps for you.
Finally, contact your auto accident lawyer as soon as possible so that they can begin work on your case. Your lawyer can work as your liaison with insurance companies, allowing you to recover from your accident without stress and hassle.
Protecting yourself after a car accident is important. Stay calm, follow these steps, and contact your attorney to ensure the process is smooth and stress-free. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact our Phoenix accident attorneys at ELG Law. Call us at (623) 562-3838 for a free consultation and legal aid today.
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