Getting into trouble while traveling can be ten folds harder and scarier than if you do when you’re home. The fact that you are in a foreign country and don’t know anybody is enough to keep you on your toes the entire time of your trip. However, since accidents are inevitable, you should have a clear idea of what to do in times of crisis while abroad.
If you are planning for your vacation and will be renting a car, read on to find out everything you need to do if you get involved in a car accident while you’re traveling.
Seek Medical Help
Just as you would if you were at home, seeking medical help should be on top of your list. Whether the help needed is for you or for the other driver involved in the car accident, this should be your main concern. Even if you believe you are fine, don’t ignore being medically examined because you might be internally bleeding without showing any external signs. Especially if you are traveling alone, it will be very difficult to get yourself into a hospital when you are all alone back in your hotel and experiencing debilitating pain. Make sure you activate your international health insurance before traveling as this will make it easier for you to find a hospital that can attend to your injuries.
Contact Your Rental Company
Car rental companies that work with foreigners almost always provide instructions for renters to follow in case of accidents. However, you still need to contact the rental company to inform them of the accident and you can ask for a car replacement as well. If you are vacationing in Tampa, Florida, you can read more here for valuable information about how you should act to get the compensation that you deserve. One thing you should keep in mind though is that you should not disclose to the other driver the fact that your car is rented. Otherwise, you will compromise your position if the driver decides to take advantage of the rental company’s insurance.
If your injuries allow you, take photos at the accident scene to use as evidence when the police arrive. Take pictures of your injuries as well as yours and the other car’s damages. Sometimes this can be enough evidence to confirm that the other driver is the one at fault like the case with rear-end collisions. You should also ask anyone around to act as an eyewitness and support your claims should you need their testimonials.
Contact Your Travel Insurance Company Provider
If you have remembered to activate your travel insurance with your local company before traveling, you should contact them after the accident. There might be some benefits that you are unaware that your policy includes, so it is definitely worth it to give them a call. Using your insurance benefits can save you a lot of money so that you can have the chance to continue your vacation after you have resolved the accident issue.
Find a Local Lawyer
Getting in touch with a local lawyer is probably the smart thing to do regardless of how big or small the accident was. Different countries have different laws so you can’t possibly depend on your own general knowledge about traffic law. Find a good lawyer and call for a consultation just so you understand if there is anything that you can do to protect yourself from getting further implicated in the case. Furthermore, an experienced lawyer can tell you more about your rights and help you take legal action if she/he believes that the car rental company has unfairly charged you additional costs.
Although this might be difficult especially if you don’t speak the language, losing your nerves will not serve you and will only come in your way of acting reasonably. It is understandable that you will feel shaken afterward and concerned about all the passengers involved. However, under no circumstances should you leave the accident scene before being assured that you can safely do so.
All drivers, no matter how good or bad, are subject to getting into car accidents. Although chances of getting into an accident while traveling are usually low, they still happen. Make it a habit to check the traffic laws in your travel destination before you travel. Once you arrive there, find a reputable car rental company to rent a car and ask for clear instructions to follow in case of an emergency. While you might not want to start your vacation on such a dark note, it is definitely the responsible thing to do.