If you are planning to travel to the U.S. for business or pleasure, you may already know how challenging America’s roads can be. After all, not only must you comply with a different set of traffic rules, but you also must deal with a different driving culture.
In any given year, there are roughly six million car accidents in the U.S. If you have one, you may have little choice but to interact with law enforcement, health care providers, insurers and other drivers. Still, it may be advisable to contact your country’s embassy or consulate as soon as possible.
While police officers from the jurisdiction where your accident occurs are likely to take control over the accident scene, your country likely offers consular services to you when you are in the U.S. After a motor vehicle accident, these may include one or more of the following:
- Notifying your relatives about the accident
- Helping you access medical care
- Arranging for transportation to your home country
- Replacing lost or damaged travel documents
- Connecting you with your attorney
Your accident response
Even though having a car accident anywhere is likely to be stressful, being in one outside your home country may make you feel powerless. Nevertheless, it is critical for you to act responsibly after the accident. To do so, you may want to consider doing the following:
- Call the police
- Contact your rental car’s insurer
- Take photographs of the accident scene
- Obtain a full medical evaluation
- Do not admit fault
While a car accident may ruin your trip to the U.S., it does not have to destroy your life. Ultimately, by taking certain steps after the accident and talking to your country’s embassy or consulate officials, you do your part to maintain control over what happens to you.