Overseas trips are exciting. However, these trips are prone to worse scenarios, such as accidents. The fact that you are not familiar with the roads and the territories of the foreign country puts you at risk of getting into an auto accident. Though devastating, the good news is you can still get justice and compensation if you follow the right protocol.
As you prepare for your trip’s excursions, it is imperative to understand the laws that apply in the country you are heading to. The local auto injury laws of that country will determine how you can get help when you have suffered a personal injury. Besides, the basic knowledge of the regulations will help you secure the best lawyer who can help you initiate a claim.
Here are the crucial steps that you should take after getting into an auto accident abroad:
Step 1: Gather Evidence
The initial and most critical step of the process is to collect evidence. When you have proof, you will increase your chances of having a successful case. If you are not seriously injured, it is advisable to record the evidence yourself. You can also ask a friend, a relative, or any person you trust to help you file the proof. Here are some of the crucial things you should gather:
- Note the model, the make, the color, and the registration number of all the vehicles at the accident scene.
- Record the specific direction that your vehicle was going.
- Write down the name of the location of the accident scene. As a foreigner, you might not readily know the area. Therefore, you should not hesitate to get the specific details of the location.
- Record the number of passengers in the car.
- Write down the time of the accident.
- Take pictures and videos of the visible car damages. Photos of the injured persons can also support your evidence.
- Write down a short note on how the accident happened, and the chronological order of how the things happened.
In addition to the above, you can also find witnesses. Your witnesses should be your fellow passengers or those in the area who witnessed the entire accident.
Step 2: Get a Medical Examination
Seek medical help immediately to be tested for anything you need to be aware of. Other than the visible injuries, you might have sustained other internal injuries. A timely medical exam will help in the early diagnosis of any future physical problems brought about by the damages caused by the accident. At the hospital, make sure that you:
- Inform your doctor about what happened in the accident scene.
- Record your conversations with the medical practitioners.
- Keep a record of all the drugs and medical notes that the doctors give you.
- Write down all the expenses that you incur at the hospital.
Step 3: Inform Your Insurance Firm
Call your insurance agent to initiate the insurance claim process. The agent will most probably ask you the obvious questions of the things that happened at the accident scene. You should be able to give the right answers since you already have the necessary records and evidence. Provide accurate information only because a single lie can cause serious repercussions. After the call, your insurance firm will send you a form to fill out. Go through the instructions carefully to avoid mistakes. Do not sign if you have not understood what the form is all about.
Step 4: Seek Legal Help
As mentioned earlier, a personal injury lawyer can help you get justice more quickly. There are many personal injury lawyers in the United States, and this means that you should be keen on the lawyer you work with. The right lawyer should be experienced and should have a proven record of handling similar cases to yours. The right attorney can help you:
- Make the proper negotiations for your insurance claim to get the highest compensation possible.
- Calculate the value of the expenses that the accident has caused you.
- Get proper medical attention.
- Make the right decisions amidst the accident case.
- Get that peace of mind since the lawyer handles all the paperwork.
Accidents happen. No one ever wants them, but we should always be prepared just in case they happen. So do not panic if you get injured in a foreign country. The key is to make the right preparations before you leave for the trip. Carry all your essentials, which include your national ID and your driver’s license. Understand the laws of that country and follow the guide above if you become a victim of an auto accident. The guide applies to all cases, whether you are driving your car or a rented vehicle.