When getting ready for a holiday, most people only think about the places they will visit and activities they will engage in. This is completely natural because, after all, this is the time for you to relax and unwind. However, generally speaking, people completely forget to think about some bad things that can occur to them. We all like to think that accidents only happen to other people, and we are usually right.
But, do you know what you are supposed to do if you get involved in a road accident in a foreign country? Don’t worry because a lot of people don’t. Due to this reason, in the following article, we will introduce you to these things, so that you could go on your next trip with one thing less to worry about.
1. Stay calm
Yes, yes, we know an auto collision can be quite traumatic for some people, and it can be even scarier if you are in a foreign country. Regardless of the location, the initial thing that you have to do is take a deep breath and calm yourself. Check if you or any of the passengers are injured, and do the same thing for the people in the other vehicle.
2. Call the police
This should be your first step, regardless of where the accident occurs. Even if it was a fender-bender, the absolute initial thing you have to do is call the authorities. They will come, conduct an on-scene investigation, and ask you and the other driver all the necessary questions. It is crucial that you are polite and that you answer all of their inquires. Once they are finished, make sure to get a copy of their report. This document will be very valuable to you in the future.
In addition, it is also a good idea to seek medical attention, even if none of the participants have been injured, or at least the injuries aren’t visible. For example, if you get into a rear-end accident, you must be examined by a professional. The most common type of injury that can occur in a situation like this is called whiplash. Basically, it is the injury of the neck and can cause pain and soreness that can last for weeks.
If there is a language barrier, meaning that you don’t speak the language, make sure to ask for an interpreter.
3. Collect all the details
While waiting for the police to arrive and after you have ensured that everyone is safe and uninjured, it is a good idea to start inquiring about the details. Firstly, ask for the other driver’s name, insurance detail, and don’t forget to provide them with yours. Write down the information regarding the make and model of the vehicles involved, as well as the license plate numbers.
4. Take photos
This is another thing you should do while waiting for authorities. Start by photographing your vehicle and then move to the other one that was involved in the collision. Take a wide shot of the road and all other things that may have caused the accident in the first place. This is a step you shouldn’t miss because you will need these photographs together with the police report later when filing a claim. It doesn’t matter if there isn’t any serious damage to the vehicles because you will need proof later, especially if you have rented the vehicle.
5. Are there any people around?
Upon exchanging the information with the other driver, look around to see if other people witnessed the accident. We are talking about other drivers who pulled aside to assist you or people who were passing by. Ask them to provide you with their names and contact info, and also ask them to tell you what they saw. You should write everything down and show it to them to ensure that they agree with everything.
6. Contact the insurance company
The next step you should make is to contact the insurance company. The procedure that follows will depend on whether you were driving a rented vehicle or not. It is of utmost importance to notify them as soon as possible because there is a time limit, and if you miss it, you won’t be covered for the damage.
If you are traveling with your own vehicle, you should contact your insurer a few weeks before the trip and inquire about the insurance policy. Some companies offer different plans, and some even offer third-party insurance to their clients when going abroad.
On the other hand, if you were driving a hired car, the companies demand that any kind of accident is reported to the police. No, you shouldn’t get the vehicle repaired before returning it. What’s more, make sure to go over the contract you signed with the rent-a-car company and inquire about the insurance you have.
7. File a clam
This is, without a doubt, the most complicated part of the process. You have to gather all the information as well as the police report and documentation from the hospital. Yes, this is why you must collect all the papers. Our advice is to get legal assistance and hire a lawyer. There are numerous things that have to be taken care of, and unless you are a professional, completing this task can be almost impossible.
First of all, you must prove that the collision wasn’t your fault, and this can be quite complicated, especially when it comes to rear-end accidents. When asked about their opinion, a lot of people would agree that the culprit is the person who hit you behind. Well, this isn’t necessarily true since many factors can contribute to this type of accident, and if you want to learn more about them, click here.
A lot of people want to know when they will receive compensation for the damage, and as you can assume, it can vary on numerous factors, everything from your insurance to the complexity of the case. Naturally, the more complex the case is, the more patience you will need.