There are all kinds of reasons people drive long distances. Work, vacations, and trips to grandma’s house can get us on the road and out of town. There are also festivals, sporting events, and social gatherings to lure us out on the freeway. The unexpected may cause us to stay longer than we originally planned. Perhaps the vacation was too good to end, or we were too tired to drive home from grandma’s house, or a bit too tipsy after the big game.
Then there is the other reason that no one wants to think about. There may be an accident and an injury. Like going to jail unexpectedly, your plans are dramatically altered beyond your control, and you are not going home.
In that situation, you will be relieved to know that your injuries, though serious, are not life-threatening. You are going to be just fine. However, you are going to be at the hospital for a few days for treatment and observation. What hospital is this, again? What city is this, again? You’re not in Kansas anymore, which is a good thing because you live in Portland. Come to think of it, you’re not in Portland either. There are a whole series of things that have to be done. Once the morphine haze clears, you will eventually think about your insurance. The good news is that a lot of this will be covered. But a lot won’t.
There are three calls you will need to make right away: your family, your insurance company, and your attorney. Work can wait until you have more information. Your insurance company will take care of the car. They generally have networks of towing and repair companies they work with in these situations. If that was the only family car, a loaner will probably not be a problem. Even so, you have bigger problems than the totaled vehicle. This is why an attorney needs to be in your first round of calls.
Unless you have specialized employment insurance that covers lost pay due to accidents and injuries, you are probably on your own. If your sick days and vacation days are already used up, your time off of work will be unpaid. This is one of the most immediate benefits of finding a good accident attorney at the beginning of the process.
It can be difficult to know how to choose an attorney in that situation. Make sure you’re equipped with as much information as possible. Review as many legal resources as you can. The seriousaccidents.com site
Lingering Medical Complications
After a serious injury, some things are obvious. The broken arm is a pretty clear-cut case. It gets a cast. It heals. The cast is removed and everything is back to normal. Besides taking a dose of Advil from time to time, that case is closed.
But something like whiplash can present with very few symptoms at first, only to get much worse later. Your desire to get back home might cause you to ignore minor pain and leave it unreported. Chronic neck and back pain is often the long-term result. A good accident attorney will not be quick to settle until the full extent and ramifications of the injuries are known. Auto insurance is not going to cover an injury that has been declared healed, or that has gone unreported. A person thinking they are healed from an injury when they are not can cost them a lot of money further down the road. A good attorney makes all the difference.
Once your spouse gets a ride to where you are, she might plan to stay in your room. But that may not be feasible. Perhaps she got a ride with the in-laws, and with the kids in toe. That hospital room with all the wires and machines will simply not do. There is a good chance that insurance is not going to cover the cost of a hotel for the duration of their stay. Child care, pet boarding, and house sitting will also have to be considered.
No one plans an accident. But being aware of potential consequences can help you ask better questions when choosing insurance, especially if you drive out of town a lot. For everything else there are accident attorneys. Be sure they are one of the first three calls you make.
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