(Photo: Michael Jin on Unsplash)
Driving in a foreign country is almost always a challenge. Some road rules may differ from your own country, and it gets even more complicated when they drive on the other side of the road and the steering wheel is on the other side of the car. Some countries have busy city intersections with no traffic lights, and it seems like there are no road rules at all!
It's easy to follow your normal driving habits, but when you are abroad, each time you get into the car you need to mentally reacquaint yourself with the differences from your home environment.
If you do have an accident while diving in another country, regardless of whether you believe you are at fault or not, just as you should do if you have a car accident at home, NEVER admit being at fault. We asked Waukegan, Illinois car accident lawyer Dave Abels to provide us with the following steps on what you should do after a car accident on vacation.
1. Call the Police
Just as road rules may differ from your home country, so might laws and how they are enforced. This can be especially important if you think you are at fault. Again, your travel insurance company should cover most costs. The local attorney will explain your rights and help you with any required legal action like the rental firm unfairly charging you more fees.
2. Document Everything
Gather contact details of all other drivers and their car insurers. Also, get the contact details of any witnesses. Take photos of the accident scene and any injuries you and any of your passengers have received. As soon as possible, write a thorough description of what happened.
3. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you and your passengers feel fine, getting checked over as soon as possible might pick up a problem before you are physically aware of it. This could not only save you from greater pain but also save you money and time. Your travel insurance should cover any costs you might incur. Seek medical attention at once so that if a major medical event it is easier to link the event to the car accident and make the insurance claim more straightforward.
4. Contact Your Car Insurance Company/Rental Car Company
If you are driving your car, you should contact your own car insurance company. Of course, before you started your trip you should have contacted them to make sure you are covered while driving abroad. If your car is not drivable, you will need to find a mechanic to begin any repairs. You'll also need a replacement car. Your insurer will tell you what to do and what is and isn't covered by your policy.
If you are in a rental vehicle, contact the rental car company. They will tell you what to do and arrange a replacement vehicle. Don't tell the other drivers involved in the accident that you are in a rental car. There may be some instances when they will refuse to give you another vehicle and will instead want to cancel your rental contract at once. This would usually only happen if you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and/or driving extremely recklessly.
5. Contact Your Travel Insurance Company
Your policy may cover some aspects of damage to the vehicle that the car insurance or rental car company do not cover. More importantly, your policy should supply some cover for any damage to any personal items within the car and any injuries you and any passengers received.
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