As we make plans for 2019, chances are we will consider a road trip or two. Whether for work or to visit friends and family, road trips can bring a lot of joy and adventure into our lives. Depending on the weather, traffic, and other circumstances around the trip, long distance travel by car can also, unfortunately, create stress and unwanted distraction. Experiencing a fender-bender or a more serious car accident while traveling is the last thing any of us want to think about; let alone deal with on a trip. However, knowing in advance what to expect and what questions to ask will help you plan and be prepared well in advance of any misadventure.
If you are a Florida resident driving your own vehicle, your car insurance will be responsible for paying your medical bills, even if your injuries occur out of state. Since Florida requires drivers to have no-fault or personal injury protection benefits (PIP), you will most likely be able to seek medical treatment out of state and still have full coverage. Prior to your trip, it is advisable to check with your insurance company to confirm this point.
The situation becomes more complex if you have an accident while driving someone else’s car. Insurance coverage may not be as straightforward. Furthermore, if your accident occurs in an at-fault state, you may not be reimbursed for medical treatment for some time. In either of these cases, you may have to rely on private medical insurance, or pay out-of-pocket for treatment. If you find yourself in this situation, ensure all receipts related to medical treatment, accommodations, and other expenses which are incurred as a result of your injuries are saved for submission to insurance at a later date.
If the accident is minor and your vehicle is safe to drive home, you may wait to have the car repaired until you are back in Florida. However, be aware the other driver’s insurance will likely want to send out an adjuster to evaluate the damage prior to repairs and this process may take a week or more to complete.
If your car has significant damage and cannot be driven home, the situation quickly becomes complicated. While your car is being repaired locally, you may need to rent another vehicle to get around, or get home. If your insurance has rental coverage, you will likely be covered, even if you are out of state.
If your accident occurs in an at-fault state, it may take insurance companies up to 30 days to investigate the accident; which can result in significant expenses to you for car rentals, accommodation, or travel to and from home while dealing with your stranded car. As with medical expenses and other accident related expenses, be sure to retain all receipts for your insurance claim.
In closing, make sure you have a copy of your insurance provider's toll free long distance number handy so it is one less thing to worry about in the stressful flurry that occurs immediately after an accident.
Navigating the system after an auto accident is confusing enough when it occurs locally, but factoring in all the variables of an out-of-state situation can quickly become mind-boggling. Consulting a trusted attorney is essential for ensuring your claim is handled correctly. The experienced team at Tison Law Group is always available to assist you and your family.
for a free consultation.