October 20th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Getting in a car accident is never fun. But a road accident abroad is another story entirely. For starters, it can be incredibly stressful. But the good thing is that your responsibilities and the steps you need to take are similar to what you would do in the U.S. if you were in an accident.
Here are the four main things you should do if you get in a road accident abroad:
1. Ensure the safety and well-being of the drivers in both cars
After an accident in a foreign country, the first order of business is the same as it is domestically: make sure no one is seriously injured. If they are, call 911 in North America and 112 in the European Union and most other countries. The wait time for the emergency responders will vary depending on if you are in a first-world or third-world country, and whether you are in a rural or urban area. Also, ensuring the safety of the passengers \means moving your car to a safe location that is not in the way of traffic or pedestrians.
2. Contact the police
The next step – it doesn’t matter if you are in Venice, California, or Venice, Italy – is to let the authorities know about any serious accident. When you call, you may have to ask for a translator depending on the country. Having the police write up a report is vital because it can help you later if any parties dispute the facts. This is true if you have an accident with a foreign vehicle or domestically.
3. Take some photos
Photographs are important because they can help document any damage to your car and show the specific site or location of the accident. Use a phone or camera to take several photos of the damage to your vehicle; be sure to capture different angles and perspectives.
4. Take notes
Write down any notes or details that you think may be helpful later. This should include the other driver’s name, the license and registration information, the make and model of the car, and the location and address of the accident. Interview any witnesses and collect their information. You can use these notes as “talking points” when you speak with your insurance company.
Being in a road accident abroad can be very nerve-wracking. But the fear of an accident shouldn’t mean you lock yourself up all day in your hotel. Sure, you could call a ridesharing service, but there is nothing like experiencing a new country in the comfort of your own car, especially if you value your independence and control. So what is the solution? It’s doing your research before you leave on your trip, so you know the law and your responsibilities in the event you are in an accident. (Learn more by reading “What to know before driving abroad” insert link)
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Long Beach, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop serving Long Beach and Southeast Los Angeles.