“I was in a car accident while on vacation. What do I do now?”
While it’s not something most of us want to think about, tourist car accidents in Montana are common. Each year, thousands of people come to Montana to visit. They travel into Yellowstone, fish the iconic Madison and Gallatin Rivers, or drive Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. Although most of these tourists return home safely, some have the misfortune of experiencing a car accident during their vacation. When this happens, it can leave the victims wondering what to do next.
If you’ve found yourself in this situation, follow these seven tips:
1. Call the Police
First things first, you should always call the police to report the accident. Many states require accident reports, even in cases where there is little or no property damage or injuries. The accident report, generated by the police, will be critical later in the process, as well.
If you need to file an injury claim, for example, you’ll need an accident report. The same is true if you want to file a claim with your automotive insurance. Even if you’re in a rural area, where it will take the police some time to arrive, this is an important step.
2. Document the Scene
While you wait for the police to arrive, document the scene. Take pictures of the accident, damage to either car, the location of the vehicles, and their proximity to traffic signs or road markings. If there were eyewitnesses, do your best to obtain their names and contact information.
3. Contact Your Insurance
As soon as you’ve dealt with the police and ensured any injured party has received necessary care, you should contact your insurance provider. Montana uses the fault system for car accidents and insurance claims.
This means that people injured during a car accident have several avenues to obtain compensation for damages. The catch, however, is that you must report the accident in a timely fashion so the settlement process can begin.
4. Notify the Car Rental Agency
If you rented the car involved in the accident, notify the rental agency immediately. The agency may require you to take a specific set of actions not laid out by your insurance company or the police. In these cases, be careful to comply with all terms laid out by the lease agreement. If you’re not sure what you need to do, contact a Montana auto accident attorney for help through the process.
5. Save any Medical Bills and Documents
If you seek medical treatment (either immediate or delayed) after the accident, keep copies of all medical bills, reports, and paperwork. Report all pain, injuries, or other symptoms to your attending physician for documentation. This information will be important when it comes time to file an insurance claim.
6. Contact a Montana Tourist Car Accident Attorney
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident is stressful. The process becomes especially tough, however, when the accident occurred outside your home state. Because of this, it’s critical to speak with a local car accident attorney who can help you navigate your claim and get the benefits you require. If you have to return to your home state after the accident, you can continue working with the Montana attorney remotely to process your case.
Don’t Wait – Secure the Help of a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Today
In Montana, there is a statute of limitations surrounding car accidents: you have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit and only two years to file a property damage lawsuit. The clock starts ticking on the date of the accident, so it’s critical to secure representation quickly.
Nobody wants to be in a tourist car accident in Montana. Occasionally, however, disaster strikes. When it does, you need the help of a skilled MT car accident attorney. Not only will an attorney advise you on your rights and entitlements related to car accident damages, but they’ll make sure your claim is processed in time.