If you are planning to travel out of state, you should prepare for the possibility of an unwanted and unfortunate out-of-state accident involving a truck or big rig – as they happen more than you may think. Many of these accidents result in personal injury and even death. IDriveSafely.com reports that in 2020, Georgia was 4th on the list of states with the highest amount of fatal car accidents. If you were in an accident involving a truck in Georgia, you can find an attorney here.
When you get in an accident in the city or the state you live in, chances are you know the best urgent care or preferred hospital, you are driving your own vehicle, and you may even have an attorney you’ve used in the past for yourself or a loved one to consult. However, when caught off guard while vacationing out of state, an accident can be even more stressful, and the actions afterward are a bit different.
Additionally, if you’ve sustained an injury due to an accident out of state, you should take the following steps before contacting a personal injury attorney.
Complexities an out-of-state accident
When you’re involved in an accident out of state, different laws and regulations may apply to the accident. For example, suppose the other driver is under the influence of a drug; if it’s marijuana, certain states have legalized the use and are working on legalizing more like hallucinogens. At the same time, it is not permissible to drive under the influence; thus, the driver may be subject to sobriety tests. However, this scenario could fall under some gray areas of the law.
Safely relocate yourself and your passengers.
Accidents involving semi-trucks can be more severe than just two standard sized cars. Immediately following the accident, if it’s safe to do so, always move yourself and your car out of the roadway into a safer nearby location within a reasonable vicinity of the crash, but out of harm’s way. For example, if the accident took place in the middle of a road or intersection, but you’re able to move your car, move it away from oncoming traffic. If the vehicle is no longer drivable, turn on your hazard lights and get yourself out of traffic to remain as safe as possible.
The critical call for help following an accident.
Once you (and your passengers) are safe, get help dispatched as quickly as possible. Call local police. Next, check on any of your passengers and then (if possible) see if the other drivers and vehicles are alright. If anyone needs emergency medical services, call 911.
The importance of calling the police cannot be stressed enough. Many states require you call for police after an accident. You may not know what rules apply to the visiting state; it’s best always to call for help. Additionally, the police officer dispatched to the scene will start making a police report when they arrive.
The police report is not only an excellent authorized record of everyone’s recollection of the events, but it is also immensely beneficial to both insurance companies and attorneys.
Damages and how to document the events an accident
If you or your passengers are not severely injured, make sure to note damage to your car and other vehicles involved by taking pictures.
Tip: As we often get shaken up from the jolt of an accident and rush of adrenaline following an accident, our recollection of the events could become blurred days later.
It’s a wise idea to make a video journal of what you recall happening before the accident, at the time of impact, and immediately following the accident (anything you may have noticed that could be of use in a legal sense).
What should you do if you believe the other driver is intoxicated or under the influence?
Never attempt to confront a drunk driver. Police will usually interview all parties separately and identify signs of drivers under the influence. However, when speaking with an officer individually, you may disclose your suspicions of an impaired driver. Officers can conduct a field sobriety test.
Injury resulting from an accident may initially go unnoticed.
An accident can trigger the body to release hormones and natural emotional responses to stress which often mask symptoms of an injury. Whether or not you have visible injuries, it is essential to be seen by a medical professional in a medical setting like local urgent cares, emergency departments, or at the very least, visiting your primary care physician. If a few days have passed since the accident, it is still advisable to be examined for possible injuries.
Tip: Be sure to disclose the accident details to the attending physician.
Should you speak to the other driver’s insurance company?
It is not recommended to speak with the other driver’s insurance company directly. They may repeatedly contact you. Please do not feel pressured to talk with them, as it generally does more harm than good. Never admit to any fault. You may not be aware of all factors of the accident, but an attorney can help.
Keep track of all accident-related expenses.
Keep receipts, medical bills, rental car statements, therapy costs, log lost wages, etc. Your attorney will significantly benefit from comprehensive and organized records of damages and expenses when it comes time to seek compensation.
Contacting a Lawyer
An experienced local attorney can assist in navigating these complex statutes. Further, all states have varying traffic regulations, making identifying fault more difficult and the need to find a local attorney more critical. If you’ve been in an out-of-state accident, it is wise to contact a skilled and experienced accident attorney who can start working on your case and toward getting you complete and just compensation.
This article was researched and written by The Baer Law Firm, a personal injury law firm in Atlanta, Georgia. TruckAccidentAttorneyNetwork.org has edited the original text for style and format, and the facts presented in this article were found to be accurate as of the day it was published. Readers should not act, or refrain from acting due to any information presented in this article, or other information on this website.