Vacation is a time to relax, make memories with your family, and try new experiences. If one of those “new experiences” is being involved in a car accident, you’re not alone. Because of the stress that comes with driving in a new place, the limited sleep many people get on vacation, and the fact that many are driving in unfamiliar rental vehicles, vacation crashes are actually fairly common. However, you may need to approach this accident differently than you would at home.
Have you been hurt in a collision while traveling in Alabama? We’d love to help you sort through your options. Call Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell at our Chatom office at 251-336-3411 or our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3697 now and we’ll set up a time to talk.
Take the Right Steps After the Crash
The same basic steps of a car crash are the same no matter where you go. Make sure you’re familiar with them at all times, so that no matter where an accident happens, you can jump into action:
- Call the police. 911 works anywhere, but if you’d rather use a non-emergency line, it only takes a second to Google the local city’s police department. Whichever route you go, you absolutely need to report the collision if you plan on filing a claim.
- Gather evidence. This means taking pictures, getting video footage of the collision scene, talking to eyewitnesses, and exchanging information with the other driver.
- Identify any injuries. If you or your passengers have any obvious injuries, take note of them and take pictures of them. This makes it easier for emergency services to send the help you need.
- Seek medical care. This is hard when you’re in an unfamiliar location. If you’re in Chatom, consider Greater Mobile Urgent care or Washington County Hospital. Bay Minette options include Infirmary Health Urgent Care and North Baldwin Infirmary Emergency Room.
- Talk to a lawyer. You’ll need to talk to a lawyer local to your crash location. We’ll explain more below.
Special Steps to Take for a Vacation Crash
Although the basic steps apply in any collision, there are some vacation-specific things you must do. First, ask the police about the process for getting a police report. These procedures tend to vary from state to state, and you don’t want to be waiting for a report in the mail when you actually have to call in and request a copy after at least three days have passed.
Additionally, you will need to report the crash to your rental car provider if you are using a rental car. Failing to report a crash in a timely manner could leave you with hefty fines.
Take as Many Pictures as You Can
The pictures you take are even more important when you’re in an area far from home. You’re unlikely to know local landmarks and roads, which will make it hard for you to talk about the collision with any real authority or clarity. Pictures and video footage will help you remember what happened.
Talk to an Attorney in the Area Your Accident Happened
Perhaps you’ve filed a personal injury claim before and your attorney got excellent results. Can’t you just use your attorney from home? Unfortunately, you can’t. Attorneys are licensed on a state-by-state basis, so there’s a good chance your lawyer back home can’t even help you where you went on vacation. Even if they can, they probably lack the local insight and knowledge that a local attorney would provide.
This can make it harder to get the fair compensation you deserve. If you choose a lawyer near your vacation location, they will be able to use local resources to fight for a fair outcome for you. Most attorneys are very flexible with Zoom meetings, DocuSign, and other options that keep you from having to inconvenience yourself.
Were You Involved in an Alabama Car Accident? It’s Time to Talk to the Team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell
If you’ve been hurt in an Alabama car crash, we’re confident that we’re the right law firm to help you. Set up a time to talk to our team now, whether you want to meet in person or remotely. Call us at our Chatom office at 251-336-3411 or our Bay Minette office at 251-336-3697 or send us a message online.