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Dealing With a Car Accident While on Vacation

Going on a trip can be an experience that is very exciting. Many people find that being able to get away from it all, even for just a few days, can be a great way to deal with the stress of their everyday lives. Unfortunately, vacations – like everything else in life – don’t always go strictly according to plan. While a car accident can be the very last thing that you want to deal with while you are on vacation, the fact of the matter is that they can and do happen all the time.

Local Attorney

Let’s say that you are vacationing in sunny San Diego. You are driving down the road, minding your own business, when out of nowhere a car runs into you. Now, if you aren’t from San Diego, you wouldn’t want to get in touch with an attorney back home. This is because you will need a good attorney in San Diego to handle your case. Any of the relevant state laws would be applied where the accident happened and an attorney from San Diego would likely be more familiar with all of the various intricacies of personal injury and traffic laws in California. Click here for more information on that.

Safety First

The chances are good that when you go on vacation, you will take your kids with you. Whether you are at home or on vacation in another area, you always need to abide by the rules of the road and make sure that you are responsible. Make sure that everyone in the car is wearing their seatbelt. Also, make sure to follow all traffic signs and signals. If there is a lane for cyclists, watch out for them, and if there isn’t a lane for them, be especially vigilant. Don’t drive with your cell phone in your hand, and drive defensively while watching for other drivers on the road around you. Doing these things can lower the risk of you having an accident.

Rental Cars

Many people will rent a car when they are on vacation. This is a good thing since it will keep the mileage low on their own cars. However, there are things to remember if you have an accident while you are in a rental car. Remember that liability works just the same as it would if you were driving your own car. You will need to file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. The parties who will be involved include the rental car company as well as yourself and the other driver. This is, of course, unless you happen to be in a no fault state at the time.

Stay There

It is critical that when an accident occurs, you remain at the scene. Leaving, whether or not the accident was caused by you can result in criminal penalties that can be quite serious. These penalties will vary depending on which state you are in and can result in you being fined as much as $20,000 as well as having to serve time in prison up to 15 years while also facing civil damages. Even if you leave the scene of an accident where there was minimal damage, you can have your license suspended at the very least.

Get Info

It is imperative that you get the phone numbers, names, and insurance information for all of the drivers who were involved in the accident. Write down this information along with the year, make model, and license plate numbers for all vehicles involved. Make sure that when you get the insurance information that you have the name of the company, the number of the policy, and any contact information for an agent that the other drivers can give you.

Remember to be as calm and polite as can be without apologizing. If you apologize, you could be admitting liability for the accident. Try not to do this unnecessarily because it might not be clear who is at fault right after the accident. Also, watch out for identity theft. Criminals will at times stage small fender benders so that they can get the information that is necessary to steal someone’s identity. Never give them your social security number or let them take pictures of your driver’s license.