With COVID-19 causing caution towards airplanes or other forms of shared transportation, many Americans are using their vacation time to take a road trip. When it comes to avoiding infection from other travelers, road trips are the way to go. However, more crowded roadways could mean more potential for car accidents. We’ve all heard that most car accidents happen within about a 15-mile radius from home. But for the one-quarter of accidents that do happen far from home, the aftermath can be even more stressful due to the unfamiliar surroundings.
What happens if you’re injured in a car accident while traveling outside of Monroe, LA? Keep reading to know what to do if your vacation turns into a trip to the hospital.
First Steps to Take
If you’re in a car accident while on vacation, your immediate action plan should be very similar to what you would do if you were injured near home.
- You should first check to see if everyone in the car is okay. Remember that many of the most common car accident injuries do not manifest themselves immediately. Serious injuries such as brain damage or spinal cord damage could take a few days to show symptoms.
- To be safe rather than sorry, it’s always recommended to visit a doctor for a thorough checkup after an accident, even if you believe your injuries were minor or nonexistent.
- File a report with the local police. Not only is this often required by law, but it will become important if you choose to file a personal injury case later on.
- Document what happened. While sometimes required for a police report, this information should be treated as future evidence should you choose to pursue an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. You will need evidence of all the damage that was done and any evidence that could prove who caused the accident. You should photograph the scene of the accident from several angles. Photograph all damage done to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved. If you have visible injuries you should photograph those too. If there are witnesses present, ask if they are willing to provide their contact information and a statement about what happened. You may need to contact them again if you pursue a case. If you go to the doctor, save receipts and documents from your visit.
- Contact a car accident attorney. Even if you feel that your injuries were too minor to consider a legal case, it’s still wise to get a car accident attorney’s advice. Should your injuries develop into something more serious, getting started on your case sooner rather than later will help you in the long run. Often, people involved in car accidents do not “bother” with a legal case simply because they do not know what their case is worth. Car accident expenses can add up fast, even when injuries are minor or moderate. If you were injured because of someone’s negligence, you owe it to yourself to claim the compensation you deserve! When you are involved in an accident in a different state, it’s especially important to get legal advice on varying state laws regarding fault, negligence, and compensation.
What You Might Be Entitled to Claim
If you choose to pursue a legal case after a car accident while on vacation, you could receive compensation for various damages, including but not limited to:
- Past and future medical expenses (not just your immediate hospital bills, but physical therapy, check-ups, treatments, and medication that you will need in the future because of your injuries)
- Rental car expenses (if your personal vehicle was damaged or if your rental car was damaged and you need a replacement)
- Expenses incurred from an interrupted vacation, such as flight changes/cancellations, hotel cancellations, extended hotel stay expenses while you recover, and more.
- The unjust use of your vacation time
- Pain and suffering caused by the trauma of the accident, the bad memories connected to your vacation, the emotional distress of being injured, and more.
- Lost wages. If you are prevented from returning to work because of the accident, you can claim compensation for the income you would have received.
- Loss of enjoyment of life and loss of future earning capacity (if your injuries cause permanent disability)
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Therapy expenses to treat emotional disorders such as PTSD that arise from the accident
How An Attorney Can Help
Every state has different personal injury laws. Some state laws prevent you from claiming compensation if you share fault for the accident. A car accident attorney will help you navigate those nuances, prove who was at fault, and make a compelling argument for why you deserve compensation. Call our Monroe, LA office at (318) 855-0285 or online.
1815 Roselawn Ave
Monroe, LA 71201