Road trips are more popular than ever as they continue cashing on the pandemic trend. Nearly 80% of American travelers embark on road trips during 2022- that’s a whopping 206 million people! You’ll surely want to join the bandwagon to experience the sheer thrill and freedom of the journeys.
While a road trip sets you up for a great experience, you cannot undermine the risk of accidents on busy highways. Even the best drivers can get into trouble due to someone else’s negligence. The unexpected can happen, so you’ve got to have the plan to deal with a car accident.
So, what do you do when a disaster hits? Well, you need to have the right mindset to minimize the damage. So, buckle up, plan for the worst, and let’s hit the road!
Stay calm and assess the situation
That’s a no-brainer after every accident, but it becomes even more crucial during a road trip. Imagine getting hit in the middle of nowhere, as help may not be accessible right away. Take a deep breath and stay calm because fear and stress only worsen the situation.
Assess the damage and ensure you and your passengers are okay. Check for injuries and call emergency if anyone requires medical attention. Getting medical aid should be the top priority, even if the injuries are not severe.
An internal injury may cause serious complications if you leave it unattended. You may also lose compensation by missing out on timely diagnoses and treatment.
Call the police
You may not think of calling the police when you’re hundreds of miles from home. But it is a rule every victim must follow after a road accident, just like getting medical treatment.
Don’t hesitate to call the local police. They can help you with immediate medical attention even if no hospital is near the accident spot. Most importantly, they will create a report, which serves as a key piece of evidence for the compensation claim.
Give all the details to the police because the insurance company can use an incomplete or inaccurate report against you.
Connect with a lawyer
Calling a lawyer may be the last thing on your mind while leaving for a road trip. But you should have their number in your contacts to get immediate advice if something goes wrong.
You will need a car accident lawyer representation eventually, right? So why not call an expert sooner than later? It gives you a winning advantage as they can guide you about the quick actions to take right after the mishap.
You may actually end up with valuable pieces of evidence from the spot by taking their advice. And you’ll feel more confident even in a messy situation in a place you hardly know.
You will surely gather every piece of evidence around, from pictures and videos to vehicle and driver details. But exchanging information gives you an extra edge down the road.
If it isn’t a hit-and-run situation or other vehicles are involved, you must exchange information with the drivers so that you can connect with them later.
Also, jot down the contact details of eyewitnesses because their testimonies can empower your compensation claim.
Don’t admit fault
A car accident can be shocking and overwhelming to the extent that you may lose control. But remember that you should never admit fault because it can go against you.
Even if you think you may have been more careful, do not talk about it. You may land into a fix for distracted driving if you admit you were using a cell phone while driving. Let the police figure it out. You don’t want to lose your compensation by only saying too much, right?
Take care of yourself
An accident can be a traumatic experience, even if the injuries are not severe. You may suffer emotionally and mentally only thinking about how your road trip may have turned into a nightmare.
Talk to someone about your emotions, and do not overlook signslike nightmares, anxiety, and driving apprehension. Consider seeing a counselor if they persist and interfere with your quality of life.
You can even seek compensation for emotional suffering as a part of the car accident, so don’t hesitate to seek help.
Undoubtedly, facing a car accident during a road trip is nothing short of a nightmare. But it doesn’t have to ruin your experience unless someone is severely injured. All you need to do is handle the situation calmly and take care of your passengers. And don’t forget the basics just because you’re away from home. Call the medics, report the accident to the police, and connect with a lawyer. You’ve got this!