Being in any kind of car accident is a horrible experience, even more so if you are not in your home country or state when it occurs. This guide will help ensure that you can deal with such trauma in the best way possible so that you can get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, emotional distress, and any damages your vehicle sustained.
Before going into what you need to do after an accident, it should be noted that even before traveling, you can take some precautions to ensure that if you are ever in an unfortunate situation, you will be ready to deal with it. One such precaution is looking for an accident lawyer in the area you are traveling to ahead of time. If you are traveling to New Albany for example, you can look online for car accident lawyers in New Albany, IN, to have an idea of what options are available in the unfortunate event that you get in a car accident. You may think this is an extreme precaution to take, but it will come in handy later.
Do Not Admit Fault
This is important no matter where the accident occurs. Any information or statement you make when speaking to anyone on the scene of the accident could be used against you. You need to choose what you are going to say carefully. It is better to just stick to the exchange of information— which will be mentioned later. One of the worst things to say is that you are sorry. A simple sorry could be understood to mean that you think you are the one at fault. Conversely, you need to pay attention to what the other drivers are saying to ensure that you find out whether they believe they are at fault or not. People can change their minds about the blame falling upon their shoulders if they believe you are going to be asking for compensation for the pain you went through.
Call the Police
If anyone is injured, or if the accident is serious, you need to call the police immediately if the bystanders haven’t already done so. Having the police around means there will be an official report on the accident that documents its details. You can use this later to build your personal injury case and claim compensation for the damages you and your car sustained.
Ask for a Copy of Your Police Report
More often than not, you will find that the police are going to give you a copy of the report they prepare. If they do not do so, you need to ask for a copy because this can help build your claim for compensation. Keep in mind that they do not write the report immediately, so you may have to call in for it.
Exchange Information with Other Driver(s)
This is another essential step you need to take if you are ever in an accident abroad. The information you need to exchange with other drivers includes insurance information, their full name, and contact information. This information is helpful to have when you want to fix your car, or need compensation for medical expenses that you incurred as a result of the injuries sustained during the accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After exchanging information, you need to call your insurance company to report the accident and start the insurance processes required to get your car fixed or replaced if the damage is too great. Even if you rented the car, since you are not in your home state or country, it is going to be insured. You need to have this information to exchange with the other drivers as well as get the process going.
Take Photographs of The Scene
Take as many photos of the scene as possible. This is because sometimes people’s accounts of the accident might change. For example, as mentioned above, a driver who admits to being at fault directly after the accident could rethink this and state that you were the one who caused the accident in the first place. To avoid this hassle and add to your supporting evidence, you can take multiple photos of the area of collision as well as the factors surrounding the accident, such as traffic congestion, weather factors that could have caused the collision, and the nature of the hit itself.
Ask for an Interpreter If Necessary
If you are in a country in which people speak a language you do not understand and the police are asking you questions concerning the accident, ask for an interpreter straight away. This is going to help you defend yourself and ensure you get all of your rights. Even if you believe you have a good grasp of the language but are not fluent, you should ask for an interpreter so that you can be fully aware of what is happening around you without language barriers.
Be Ready with All of Your Documents
Never go anywhere without your documents. These documents include identification, your passport, and your driving license. After the accident, any officials at the scene will request these documents straight away. This is why you need to have these ready at all times, even if you are going to go for something as simple as a walk, you need to have these documents at the ready.
Seek Medical Attention ASAP
After an accident, adrenaline will be coursing through your body and you might not be feeling the full extent of your injuries. Sometimes injuries may take a couple of days for you to notice them. To avoid other drivers’ lawyers claiming that you do not require compensation for medical treatment because your injuries were not that bad or not resulting from the accident, and to avoid being in even more pain, you need to get checked by a medical expert as soon as possible. This will ensure that there are no health complications caused by the accident, and if there are, you have the evidence needed to get the proper medical treatment and compensation.
If you follow these guidelines, you will be able to handle the situation if you were ever involved in a car accident abroad. It is better to be safe than sorry, so take as many precautions as possible to ensure that your rights are protected no matter what happens. And remember that even if you are not surrounded by family and friends because you are away from home, you can still get the support you need if you seek it.