Summer months and warm, sunny weather have everyone in a vacation state of mind. Many travel out of state to visit beaches, historic landmarks, and other destinations on either side of the country, sometimes traveling thousands of miles to get away from home for a while. Long road trips on busy highways can be dangerous for traveling tourists, especially when the area is unfamiliar. According to the CDC, about 25,000 tourists are killed in auto accidents each year. Traffic laws vary from state to state, so you should know your rights if you are hurt in a car accident while on vacation .
Know how your insurance works out-of-state.
While most insurance companies cover you no matter where you are in the country, it is important to know exactly what you are entitled to if you are involved in an accident out-of-state. Before you go on vacation, ask your insurance provider for a breakdown of your policy so you know what to expect if you get hurt. Make sure you get information from your auto insurance and health insurance companies.
Know the traffic laws for the state you are traveling in.
Traffic signs, stop lights, and speed limits are different in every state. When traveling away from home, it can be difficult to navigate in unfamiliar areas. Be aware of speed limit signs, pedestrian crossings, and construction areas as you drive. Local law enforcement aren't likely to take it easy on you if you don't follow their rules and failing to do so can really hurt your case if you get into an accident.
Take immediate steps to thoroughly document your accident.
If you get into a car accident in another state, you need to approach the situation just as you would in your home state: take immediate action to preserve your rights. Call emergency responders to the scene and take photos to document the damages. Collect contact and insurance information from any other people involved and gather testimonies from anybody who witnessed the accident. If you are seriously injured, seek medical attention immediately.
Be wary of insurance adjusters.
Representatives of insurance companies from both sides may appear at the scene to take information and try to get an official statement from you. Never give a written or recorded statement to an insurance adjuster without first consulting with an auto accident attorney! These adjusters are trained to make you say the wrong thing so they can hold you responsible for the accident and ruin your claim. Even admitting to partial fault can kill your case and prevent you from receiving the money you need to cover medical bills and repair costs.
Contact a personal injury attorney in the state in which your accident occurred.
Because you will have been expected to follow the laws in the particular state in which you were driving at the time, you should contact a car accident attorney in that state to help you with your auto accident claim. For instance, if you traveled down from Ohio to South Carolina to visit Myrtle Beach and got into a car accident while on vacation there, you would need to contact a South Carolina auto accident attorney. For assistance with your vacation accident, you can discuss your situation with the legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.