Getting into a car accident while away on vacation can greatly interrupt a getaway, but it can also impact a person’s life. If a vacation car accident does occur, those involved will be concerned about accessing unfamiliar services, like different medical facilities and auto body shops. Knowing what to do before heading out for a trip is a proactive way to prevent the situation from getting much worse.
Immediately after a serious auto collision while on vacation in the United States, the first step to do is to call 911. If anyone is injured in the crash, they should not be moved, and all passengers should be checked over for injuries. Once help arrives, they will decide if emergency services are required, but people should not refuse services simply because they do not want to deal with going to a medical facility.
If possible, the vehicles involved should be safely moved away from traffic. Then, the hazard lights can be turned on, and the vehicle should be turned off. While waiting for police officers and medical assistance, it is wise to record pertinent information. Those involved can take photographs of the other vehicle’s license plate as well as pictures of skid marks, weather conditions, and anything else that might show what caused the collision.
Once law enforcement officers arrive, they will have questions that need to be answered. It is best to provide factual responses, and it might also be better to wait for them to get there before exchanging information with the other drivers. One never knows if another driver or passenger will become violent. Now is also the time to contact the auto insurance provider to inform them about what happened.
Why Should I Seek Medical Care Right Away?
Even if the injuries appear to be minor, waiting until one is back home to seek treatment is ill-advised. The effects of serious injuries, like concussions and whiplash, may not be apparent until later. Besides that, the body often has delayed reactions to trauma, which can mask the pain of hidden injuries. People who wait too long to get medical help can also face problems when it comes time to making an insurance claim because the provider may assert that the injuries were not serious enough to get immediate medical care.
It can be frightening to go to a strange medical facility, but quality ones can be found with a little perseverance. A quick internet search can be helpful, and it might also be wise to contact friends or relatives who may live in those areas. Injured parties can also contact their health insurance provider to get referrals.
When being treated by an unfamiliar provider, it is wise to have any applicable medical records sent from the victim’s primary and specialized providers from back home. Not having current information about allergies, prescriptions, medical conditions, and recent procedures could be detrimental to a patient’s treatment plan. Keeping this in mind, it is a good idea to carry a medical card that includes this information in one’s wallet at all times.
What if a Rental Car is Involved?
If the car involved in the accident is a rental vehicle, the rental agency also needs to be contacted right away. Many people purchase additional insurance from these companies when renting their cars, but regular auto insurance companies often include rental car coverage in their policies. When these kinds of crashes happen in hotel parking lots or other locations, the property owner will need to be notified as well.
Family members can be notified, but it is not a good idea to post details about the accident online, especially on social media. Insurance companies may have access to these postings and may try to use them as evidence to get out of giving an injured party compensation. If a person gets in a serious car accident while on vacation, makes a claim, continues their vacation, and posts photographs on social media of them having a good time, the insurance company might challenge the injury claim.
Vacation car accidents can also incur added expenses that add up quickly. If the vacation has to be cut short, there may be fees for changing flights or other means of transportation. Health insurance providers are known to charge extra out-of-network fees for medical care too.
On top of all those costs, some accident victims are too injured to return home for a long period of time, and they could have to pay more money for additional hotel room nights. No matter what the expenses entail, it is important to keep accurate records, including medications and hotel stays.
What Should I Do if I am in a Car Accident in Georgia?
Georgia is a popular vacation state with well-known tourist destinations, like Atlanta, Athens, and Savannah. A good number of traffic accidents occur on the main highways and backroads. Some of the main reasons for a collision while on vacation in the state include speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, inexperienced drivers, poor weather conditions, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some of the most common car accident injuries include whiplash, broken bones, head and neck injuries, brain and spinal cord injuries, scarring, disfigurement, and paralysis.
If compensation is possible, the amount will depend on state laws. Georgia is a modified comparative state. This means that judges and juries will determine if a plaintiff’s actions contributed to the accident. If a driver is found to be less than 50 percent at fault, they may be able to receive damages. If drugs or alcohol contributed to the collision, recovery might not be possible.
Georgia is a fault state, which means that drivers are required to file claims with their own insurance provider. In addition, injured drivers may not be allowed to sue liable motorists unless the medical expenses and medical conditions meet certain thresholds.
Georgia has other auto accident laws to be aware of as well. The statue of limitations for a plaintiff to initiate a lawsuit depends on the injuries and type of case, but this does not apply to auto insurance claims. Individuals have up to two years to file a personal injury claim, no matter if they were driver, a passenger, a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist. This time limit is the same for wrongful death claims as well.
Someone who lives in a different area and gets into a collision while on vacation in Georgia might also want to learn about how the state’s car insurance works. Like other states, drivers are required to carry specified minimum amounts of liability coverage, and not every driver follows the applicable laws. Someone who is traveling through Georgia and gets into a collision can get help by contacting a local car accident lawyer for legal advice.
Our Lawyers Help Those File Injury Claims After a Collision While on Vacation
If you were involved in a collision on vacation, get in touch with the skilled car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law. We are familiar with the area, Georgia state laws, and many different car accident scenarios, and we will protect your rights. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us today at 912-754-6003. We are located in Springfield, Georgia, and we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.