Getting into an accident of any kind can be a deeply traumatic experience, one that can have a seismic effect on your emotional health as well as your finances. The fallout can be even worse when you’re traveling out of state, far from home and loved ones.
Your initial reaction to getting hurt in another state might be one of profound confusion. If this is something that you have recently experienced, or if you are a frequent business traveler who would like to know how to act if you were ever involved in an accident out of state, then this article is for you.
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First things first, what kind of vehicle were you driving when you got into the accident? Was it your personal car, a rental, or one that was loaned to you by your company or a friend? This is an important point, and you should have a copy of the car registration and all the pertinent documents on hand at all times. Alongside, of course, your driver’s license. This will be a vital piece of information to keep track of since the attendant car insurance will play a large role in what follows.
Hire a Lawyer
This is, of course, the most crucial step. Each state has different laws when it comes to handling accidents and personal injury lawsuits, so it pays to find a lawyer familiar with the local laws in the state where the accident occurred. Most people tend to have a legal contact in their phones, but if your lawyer is either unfamiliar with the state laws, or is not legally certified to practice at the city in which the accident occurred, then you’ll have to get the legal help you need elsewhere. If you suffered an injury in Greeneville while on the job, then you can ask your human resources department or supervisor to help find you a lawyer who is experienced in the nuances of the local legal statutes. It is important to make sure that your legal representative is able to take on the responsibility of dealing with local law enforcement and insurance companies to get you the best settlement possible.
Work with Law Enforcement and Medical Professionals
Of course, in the immediate aftermath of an accident, you will want to call emergency services and the police. While it may be hard to concentrate when your car is totaled, you will want to carefully document the scene. Take photos on your phone, and if there are witnesses, ask them to stand by so that the police may record their statements. Make sure that you give the full series of details regarding the event to the police, as they will need this information to put together a thorough report, which will help form the basis of your case. The lawyer will use this documentation to establish fault, which will set other things in motion.
Next, be sure to check-in with your doctor, or go to the hospital if you feel that you have been seriously injured. Get all paperwork documenting your injuries, and keep track of the medical bills you’ve wracked up so that you will ensure proper compensation for the accident. Also, don’t forget to tally the time you have had to take off from work, which can help your lawyer in putting together a fair settlement that will also help cover any wages lost in the aftermath of the event.
Figure Out the Policy
Having a good personal injury lawyer in your corner is helpful when dealing with the insurance companies. However, it helps to have an idea of what can be covered on your own as well. Given that the accident occurred in another state, and especially if you were driving your own vehicle, then you’ll want to know right off the bat if your auto insurance applies. Most likely, you will be covered so long as the accident occurred in North America, but it helps to double-check. Then, you can find out with your lawyer the minimum liability limits that apply in your home state versus the site of the accident.
In all cases, don’t panic. Accidents are a difficult thing to have to experience, but they are a common enough occurrence that you will find plenty of experts who can give you a hand. You will not be left out in the dust on your own to handle everything. Just make sure to hire good legal representation, and the issue will be ironed out soon enough.