Summer road trips are exciting, especially if you travel out of state. However, the threat of a collision is always present. If you have an accident outside of your home state, would you be properly prepared? Before you head out on the highway this summer, learn about how to properly prepare for and handle out of state collisions.
Driving in an unfamiliar state in the peak of travel season can dramatically increase your chances of a collision. During your trip planning, plan on getting a check-up on your auto insurance coverage. Give your insurance agent a call and make sure your plan covers the area where you are going. Good news is that the majority of policies will include coverage in the 48 contiguous states. If yours does not, your insurance agent can provide you with out-of-state policy options.
Next step is to know the lay of the land, so to speak. Do a pre-trip check-up on out of state traffic laws and make sure you understand them. Although it will be a safe bet that the majority of traffic laws will be similar to home, there may be some states with a few variations.
If you indeed get into a collision, document…document…document. Remember, you are in a different state that may not be familiar at all to you. To protect yourself, make sure you take thorough notes. Immediately call the local police or state highway patrol and make an accident report. Have the responding officer make sure to give you a copy of his report as soon as possible. As far as the other driver involved in the collision, perform the same steps as you would at home. Get their contact and insurance information and make sure it is accurate. Write down their license plate number, plus vehicle make and model. Take out your phone or digital camera and take photos of the accident scene. This includes surrounding street signs, vehicles, witnesses (if any), and landmarks. Speak with any witnesses and try to get their statements, names, and contact information. After you have collected all of the previously mentioned info, write a timeline and step-by-step recurrence of what happened as best as you can remember.
When it comes to your health and well-being, don’t jeopardize it. Go to the local hospital if recommended by first responders. Even if you feel it could wait until you get back home, go see a local doctor.
Finally, think about the possibility of setting up the services of a lawyer in the state you are traveling in. Go online, ask for references, maybe ask friends or family their advice. Maybe even your home state lawyer could recommend someone. However, never give an official statement to anyone except law enforcement if you are indeed considering a lawsuit, even if an insurance adjuster shows up.
Pete Solis Collision Center is El Paso’s Auto Body Shop! With over 47 years of experience behind us, we are the top choice for bodywork, paint, and more. We are the home to ICAR certified professional body shop technicians, as well as quality Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes. Pete Solis Collision Center is located at 1434 Lomaland Dr. in El Paso, Texas. Give us a call today at (915) 599-8666. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.