Dealing with any type of car collision can feel highly challenging. You have to get the liable party’s insurance details and ensure that you have all necessary information. Then, you have to go through the extensive claim process.
When you get into an accident with a driver from another state, on the other hand, the claim process can turn even more complicated. You may find yourself dealing with out-of-state insurance requirements, trying to get in contact with insurance companies in another state, or even struggling to get in touch with the liable driver.
While the process may seem frustrating, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your claim moves as smoothly as possible.
1. Report the accident.
A vacationing driver may not want to take time out of their day to report an accident and wait at the scene for a police officer to arrive. However, failure to report the accident, especially if it involved any sort of injury, can make it more difficult for you to pursue compensation later, especially if the liable driver does not admit fault. A police report helps create a record of the accident and can help establish fault for the incident.
2. Get all information from the other driver.
Having the other driver’s information is essential after a car accident. It grows even more important, however, when the other driver lives out of state, which could make it more difficult to get in touch with them. You may want to take photos of relevant documents, including the driver’s insurance card and license. You may also want to take photos of the other driver’s car and the damage to it as well as the other driver’s license plate. Furthermore, ask for contact information for the other driver so that the insurance company or your lawyer can get in touch if necessary.
3. Seek medical attention for any injuries.
Even if you do not think you suffered injuries in the car crash, seek medical attention for any injuries. Some types of injuries, including serious injuries like traumatic brain injury, may not show up at the scene of the accident. You may, however, notice serious symptoms later, including symptoms that will require long-term treatment or that may interfere substantially with your everyday life.
Work with your care providers to come up with a treatment plan for your injuries, and follow those instructions carefully as you deal with the aftermath of your accident. If you fail to follow those instructions, the insurance company may determine that you did not do your part to recover from the accident or that you limited yourself during your recovery, which may prevent you from recovering compensation for any increase in treatment needed.
4. Consult an attorney.
If you suffered any type of injury in your car accident with an out-of-state driver, get in touch with a car accident lawyer as soon as you can. Having a lawyer on your side can make a huge difference in your ability to recover compensation for your injuries and cut through the red tape. A lawyer can:
Review the Liable Driver’s Insurance Policy
Different states have different insurance requirements. For example, minimum auto insurance in Georgia is $25,000 in damage protection and $25,000 for a single individual injured in an accident or $50,000 for more than one party injured in an accident. Other states, however, may have very different requirements. Nearby Florida, for example, only requires $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. A lawyer can review those requirements and provide you with more information about the coverage you can expect.
Review Your Insurance Policy
In addition to checking over the other driver’s insurance policy, your lawyer will take a close look at your insurance coverage. If you carry MedPay insurance or underinsured motorist coverage, for example, it may help provide protection for the damages from your accident.
Having the right evidence is essential in laying out who caused your accident. After an accident with someone out of town on vacation, your lawyer may need to submit proof of the driver’s negligent actions. Evidence may include:
- Witness statements
- Any video footage of the accident
- Photos of the damage to the vehicles
- Photos of the accident scene
Your attorney can then collect that evidence into a comprehensive statement about what likely caused the accident.
Deal with the Insurance Company
Dealing with any insurance company can prove complicated. Dealing with an out-of-state insurance company, on the other hand, can prove even more complex. The insurance company may try to slow down or delay paying out compensation for your damages using a variety of tactics, from issuing you a low settlement offer to trying to convince you to accept partial liability for the accident.
With a lawyer on your side, however, you can feel much more confident that those dealings with the insurance company will go smoothly and that you will avoid potential traps and challenges along the way.
5. Avoid accepting fault.
It can be very tempting to brush off the negligent actions of a vacationing driver. After all, they were in the Atlanta area on vacation. They’re not familiar with its heavy traffic and complex traffic patterns. In fact, many vacationers feel a great deal of anxiety over the traffic in Atlanta, and an accident can make that even worse! However, you should not make any statement, either when talking to the driver and the police at the scene of the accident or when dealing with the insurance company after the accident, that accepts liability for the accident or ignores the extent of what the other driver did to lead to the accident. Let your lawyer guide you in how to deal with the insurance company.
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
If you suffered injuries in a car accident with a vacationing driver from outside Georgia, you need a lawyer on your side to help you navigate the claim process. Contact Cambre & Associates as soon as possible to learn more about your next steps.