‘Tis the season for road trips: warmer weather, more daylight hours, kids out of school, and vacation hours. In Alaska, the beautiful scenery makes for a wonderful car ride to a new destination and, whether you are travelling far from home or to the next town to visit loved ones, a vacation should bring on fun and relaxation.
But, even when all you plan to do is have fun on this road trip, you should be aware of the possibility of getting in a car accident far away from home and what steps to take afterward. Out-of-town collisions come with a unique set of issues to address — as car accident attorneys in Fairbanks, we thought it would be helpful to summarize what to do in this situation.
First, you should be aware that your insurance company will insist on repairing your car locally — paying to have your car towed back to your hometown is not on an insurance company’s list of favorite things to do. Also, once the repairs are complete, you’re responsible for picking up the vehicle.
Now, in order to minimize the negative effect a car accident can have on your vacation, here are four tips:
- Make sure the police report is thorough. A police report will turn out to be even more important for an accident that happened away from home. You likely won’t come in contact with the officer on the scene again, and if another driver caused your accident then recording exactly what happened will be vital to your case. A police report will hold evidence of the cause of the accident, the damages and injuries caused, and record of who was involved. This information is priceless if you choose to file a claim.
- If possible, wait to repair until you get back home. If the car accident wasn’t serious, consider the possibility of putting off repairs until you return to your hometown. If you can avoid the stressful process of finding a decent body shop to fix up your vehicle, do it.
- Speak with your insurance company about a short-term repair. If your car was severely damaged but a temporary repair could get you back home to a body shop you trust, talk to your insurance provider about covering the temporary repair as well as the full repair. An example of temporary repairs could be replacement wheels, headlight replacement, or suspension repair.
- Use a body shop with nationwide warranty coverage. There is a chance that your insurance carrier has a contractual relationship with body shops that includes a nationwide warranty. If you use one of these shops to repair your car, you could receive a warranty on the repairs allowing you to address any issues that arise later at a shop closer to home.
If a car accident does interrupt your vacation this summer, hopefully this information is helpful. If another person causes that car accident, and if you are injured, contacting a car accident attorney may be in your best interest.