Disclaimer: This article should not be treated as legal advice. It’s recommended that readers still consult legal counsel and contact a lawyer should they have any concerns regarding vehicle accidents.
Traveling is one of the ways people can have a change of scenery, albeit literally, especially after a stressful time at school or at work. Going to distant places and enjoying the view and the locale are just some things you can appreciate and cherish, especially if it's something you've planned on doing for a long time. Unfortunately, being injured in a vehicle accident while traveling is one of the many possibilities that can happen while you're out of the house, and this can be an extremely stressful endeavor. However, it's also important to remember that there are also legal considerations in play should you find yourself in a vehicle accident. Below are things to consider legally if you've been injured in a vehicle accident while traveling.
Keep in mind, however, that laws and regulations change depending on the place you're traveling, which means it's important to consult a legal professional and to not treat this article as legal advice. This is because a legal professional, particularly someone trained to handle cases pertaining to traffic or accident, can help you understand certain laws and policies in areas you want to go to in order to give you a proper heads up on what to expect.
Heads Up: Read Up On Traffic Laws
While the topic does talk about legal considerations of a vehicle accident while traveling, it can still be of help to actually be knowledgeable on what to know in advance instead of actually relying on what to do if you're in the scene yourself. This means understanding everything there is to know about traffic laws in places you're traveling to, be it to-and-from work or school, or to-and-from a place of leisure. It's best to not underestimate the place you're residing in or traveling to, as accidents don't choose people to involve.
This means it's best to try to get a heads up on the current traffic situation in the place you're planning on visiting or traveling. If it's a foreign area, checking in on current traffic conditions would help, and consulting a lawyer or a law enforcement official wouldn't be such a bad idea. What's the protocol on their end if you get in an accident? What should you do?
At the same time, it's also a good idea to know who's who in the traffic and health scene of the area you're going. Where is the nearest police station and hospital? It's better to be aware of these places at any given time during your travel so you know where best to go should you be in need of immediate assistance.
At the same token, it's also better to have the numbers of these assistance centers or law enforcement contacts in your mobile or somewhere on your person so you can reach out to them immediately.
Knowing is Key: Assessment, Documentation
According to South Australia's Legal Services Commission, when you get involved in a vehicle accident while traveling, it's advised you don't leave the area until a law enforcement official or a lawyer gives you approval to leave. This is because there are penalties for hit-and-run that can be applied to you if you leave the scene. If you can get yourself to a safe distance from the accident, do so but don't leave the area. Call for assistance immediately, especially if there are other people who are injured in the vicinity.
When police officers and medical assistance arrives, try to get their names, license numbers, and contact information. This will allow you to be able to reach out to them should there be a need. The same goes with getting basic information like names, addresses, and contact details of passengers and drivers involved in the accident. Remember, however, get this information politely and don't apologise for the incident as the former is courteous and the latter might give the wrong idea and have them think it's your fault.
Document everything if possible including getting pictures of yourself and the extent of the injuries you've experienced as well as damages in the area. This can help when it comes to getting compensated if it comes to that. Try to get copies of reports, correspondence, and receipts of everything you've spent for your recover after the incident. It's also best to have a detailed account of the accident in the form of a journal.
Be Wary: Responsibility, Compensation
Lastly, try to get a basic idea on who's responsible for the incident. Was it in any way your fault or was this completely the fault of the other party? There are different legal considerations for each, and it's best to ask your lawyer about this. Hiring one to work for you will make the process easier, especially if you or the other party had incurred personal injuries during the accident. Another important consideration is to check if your work can insure you for the accident, especially if the travel is work related.
Traveling is surely a fun and exciting experience, but sometimes it's better to be careful especially when you're going to places you're not familiar. It's important to know what to consider legally if you've been injured in a vehicle accident while traveling so you know exactly what to do if you're involved in one. Your safety is an extremely important part of the traveling experience, and it can define a good travel or a bad travel experience. This means it's best to be prepared for these eventualities so you don't have a lot of things to worry about should such a thing happen.
Dianna Charles is a promising young law enthusiast that hopes to bring her youthful spirit in her field. She tries to add a refreshing modern take to topics on the legal world that people can learn from. Dianna enjoys her free time with friends and family, and loves to cook for them.