What to Do if You Are Involved in an Out-of-State Auto Accident

Posted by Chris Medine on Sep 21, 2018 10:57:00 AM

out-of-state car accidentAuto accidents present a number of challenges and a large amount of stress no matter where they occur.  However, when you find yourself involved in a collision in an unfamiliar area, far away from home, these issues can easily be exacerbated.  What are the laws and procedures in this state?  Where will your car be towed?  Can you even find a rental nearby?  These questions and more swirl inside your head as you try to navigate a totally unfamiliar situation.  Fortunately, handing out-of-state car accidents doesn’t have to be so complicated.  In fact, the steps you take after these wrecks are much the same that you would at home.  Here is what you need to know to be prepared.

Initial Steps After an Out-of-State Wreck

Whether you are near home or across the country, the immediate steps you should take after an accident are the same.  If possible, move your car to a safe area.  Then, check yourself and all parties involved in the collision for injuries. After this, you should call the local police and emergency response if necessary. While waiting on the police, you should take photos of the damage for record and try to find any witnesses who can help in writing a police report.  Also, while waiting for the police to arrive, communicate with the other vehicle driver to make sure they are not injured as well.  Exchange driver’s license and insurance cards with the other driver, and take photos of their documents for your records.

Calling the Insurance Company When You Are Traveling Out of State

Once safety precautions have been taken and the police called, call your insurance provider. Most policies provide coverage in all U.S. states and some even in other U.S. territories as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. Regardless of where the accident takes place, your insurance company uses a network of tow trucks, adjusters, mechanics, and rental services, and while you are certainly not obligated to use any of these, such contacts may prove helpful in an unfamiliar state.

From here, you will be able to have the car towed and have an adjuster from your insurance provider assess the damage. If you need to get back on the road, you can have your insurance company help you to obtain a rental while these details are worked out and continue on with your vacation.

If the car is declared a total loss, you will begin a process of negotiation with your insurance provider to determine the vehicle’s value and your settlement amount.  Remember that you do not have to accept the first offer! However, if the car is not declared as a total loss, there are some potential options you may have. You can have the car repaired in the state the accident took place in and make arrangements to have the car shipped to you or to return to pick it up once repairs are made. The other option would be transporting the wrecked vehicle by means of a towing company, renting a towing vehicle, or driving the wrecked vehicle (assuming it is safe and street legal) back to your home state for repair.

How is an Out-of-State Car Accident Handled in Court?

Let’s say that the insurance company does not provide you with a reimbursement that covers the cost of the accident in full, whether it be costs of injuries, additional damage, towing, rental, or car replacement. Do you take legal action in your home state or the state where the accident occurred?

Though it may be inconvenient, any litigation or court proceedings will be handled in the state which the accident occurred. Each state has different laws when it comes to assigning fault and handling lawsuits involving car accidents. Each state also has different statutes of limitation, meaning the time you have to take action following the accident. If you believe that you may need to file a lawsuit in order to receive full compensation, you should contact an accident attorney who is knowledgeable of the state laws and licensed to practice there.

Near or far, Medines Collision is here to service the people of South Louisiana when it comes to collision repair. Explore our website for more information on what to do if you are involved in an accident, as well as safe driving tips or more. If you have been involved in an accident, contact us today for a free estimate.

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Topics: Driving Safety Tips, Auto Accident

What Does Pre-Loss Condition Mean?

Posted by Chris Medine on Jan 30, 2018 2:25:00 PM

pre-loss condition

If you've been in an auto accident, you may have already heard the term "pre-loss condition" from your insurance provider or collision center.  But, what exactly does that mean?

Pre-loss condition is supposed to mean, “after an accident, your automobile will be repaired as close as possible to the condition your vehicle was in the instant prior to an accident."  You are entitled to be "made whole" by restoring your vehicle to its pre-loss condition or by compensating you if that cannot be accomplished. The insurance company is not obligated to make it better than it was.  However, they can not force you to accept anything less.  

What Factors Determine a Vehicle's Pre-Loss Condition?

Function

Are all of the crucial and key functions of your car working? This includes things like the systems that relate to stopping, steering, and handling of the subject vehicle. 
 

Appearance

All areas of your vehicle should be restored to at least the  same appearance of your automobile just previous to the accident. 
 

Safety 

This is the most important category, but the one that is most ignored or overlooked. Who among us would know how to determine whether or not the SRS systems (which control airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners, etc.) have been set correctly, or whether or not the vehicle has been restored to withstand a subsequent impact and protect the occupants as well as an undamaged vehicle?
 

Value

Has the repair and restoration of your vehicle been rebuilt to a value equal to the value of your vehicle just before impact?

As partners of the Wreck Check Scan program, Medines Collision Center is equipped, skilled and trained to help you with every step of this process.  We pride ourselves on being your auto accident advisers, acting as competent intermediaries who are most knowledgeable regarding the topics of pre-loss condition, diminished value, and insurance rights.  So, the next time you are in an auto accident and need your vehicle repaired, TAKE CONTROL and CHOOSE MEDINES!

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Topics: Auto Accident, Costs and Estimates

3 Causes of Baton Rouge Auto Accidents

Posted by Chris Medine on Dec 23, 2013 2:26:00 PM

causes of car wrecks

Staying safe on Baton Rouge roadways is not always easy.  Despite your best efforts, there are many elements that are simply beyond your control.  Other drivers, inclement weather, and road construction all play a role in your safety behind the wheel.  Remaining alert and aware of your surroundings is your best defense against a collision.

There are several different potential causes for an auto accident, but recognizing the top few and taking precautionary steps to avoid them can help keep you and other drivers safe.  Here are three of the most common causes of collisions:

Driver Distraction

 Campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving have brought this particular issue to the forefront recently.  However, while it is incredibly dangerous, texting is part of a much longer list of distracting activities that drivers participate in behind the wheel.  Motorists make phone calls, eat, apply makeup, and even surf the internet while operating their vehicles, and the consequences can be deadly.  In fact, over 3,000 people lose their lives each year due to distracted drivers

If you need to make a phone call, send a text, or grab a quick bite, take an extra minute or two to pull over while completing your task.  Furthermore, if you see a driver who appears to not have their full attention on the road, keep a safe distance and exercise extra caution when passing or approaching them.

 Driving While Impaired 

In 2011, 1.2 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).  While the number may be shocking, it still doesn’t account for those who made it to their destination uneventfully, or those who were involved in a fatal accident.  Driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics seriously inhibits your concentration and reaction time, increasing the likelihood of an accident dramatically. If you drink, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.  Instead, ensure that you first have a designated driver available to take you home, or call a cab.  Additionally, if you know someone is under the influence, do not allow them to drive.  Offer to drive them, or call someone for them. Preventing drunk or impaired driving will ultimately save lives.

 Speeding

Speed limits are set to keep motorists, pedestrians, and anyone else on the roadway safe.  However, they are frequently ignored.  We live in a time when speed is nearly always seen as a positive.  We want to get to our destinations as quickly as possible, but when doing so puts yourself and other drivers at risk, it’s best to slow down.  The National Safety Council estimates that over 13,000 lives are lost each year due to speeding.  In most cases, these lives could have been saved if drivers had simply slowed down.

Consider the consequences of aggressive driving.  Even if you’re running late to a big meeting or major event, the risk associated with speeding is not worth it.  Slow down, and keep yourself and others safe.  Furthermore, if you must share the roadway with someone who is driving hazardously, allow them to pass, and keep a safe distance.

Medine’s Collision Center wants you and your loved ones to arrive safely at your destinations, but we also understand that you cannot always avoid a collision.  If you have been involved in an auto accident and need a trustworthy and reputable company to guide you through the repair process, contact our shop.  We are proud of the quality work that we provide and our ability to get Baton Rouge drivers back on the road.  To contact us, simply click here, or call us directly at (225) 357-7983.

 

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Topics: Auto Accident

8 Important Steps to Take Following a Baton Rouge Auto Accident [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Chris Medine on May 30, 2013 3:13:00 PM

after an auto accidentAn auto accident can be a frustrating and dangerous experience. It often leaves drivers shaken and unable to think clearly.  Critical steps may be missed, leading to injury and less than ideal care for your damaged vehicle.  To ensure the safety of all those involved and to take proper care of your car, truck, or SUV,  there are 8 steps you should take immediately:

  1. Call 911 - The police will need to file a report, and make sure there are no serious injuries. Never skip this step, no matter what the other involved party may say. To get proper coverage, police reports must be filed.
  2. Call Your Family - Your loved ones may be concerned if you are late, or they haven't heard from you.  They need to know that all is well. You may also need someone to pick you up if your car is damaged enough to require towing to a local auto body and collision repair service company.
  3. Take Pictures Of Everything - Pull out your phone and take pictures of damage to both vehicles. Also, take a picture of the other person's insurance card and drivers license. By simply writing down their information, you run the risk of committing an error.  Taking a quick photo will ensure that you have the correct information when you need it.
  4. Call Your Insurance Carrier - You need to contact your insurance carrier no matter the extent of damage. In some cases, the damage may not look bad on the outside but has caused frame damage or other unseen problems. Your insurance agent can explain the steps you need to take in order to file a claim and receive compensation for the insurance you pay premiums on. 
  5. Move Your Car To A Safe Area - If your car is still operational, it is a good idea to move your vehicle to a safer area, such as a parking lot away from the roadway and other traffic. Safety should always be a top priority.
  6. Contact An Auto Body And Collision Repair Service - You will need someone who can give you a free estimate and get to work immediately fixing the damage your automobile suffered. Here in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas, Medines Collision Center is a top-of-the-line auto body and collision repair service center. You can easily reach us at 225-357-7983, and we will gladly guide you on your next step.
  7. Call A Tow Truck Your chosen collision repair center should be able to provide some suggestions on a reliable and economic company to tow your vehicle to their location. 
  8. Get A Rental Car - Depending on the extent of damage to your vehicle, you may need to rent reliable transportation while the experts at Medines put your car back into roadworthy condition. If you ask the collision expert, they may just be able to suggest preferred car rental services in the area.steps to take following a crash
At Medines, we understand the aftermath of an auto accident and what a difficult time it can be.  We want to help by making the process as painless and simple as possible.  If you are involved in an accident, gain some peace of mind by giving Medines a call at 225-357-7983.  We can give you a free estimate and assessment to get you back on the road as soon as possible.

 10 reasons to choose medines

Topics: Auto Accident, Collision Repair, Choosing a Collision Center

Car Totaled? Five Steps To Get You Back On The Streets of Baton Rouge

Posted by Chris Medine on Apr 2, 2013 3:55:00 PM

auto collision repair baton rougeSo you think your car has just been totaled? Now what? Are you just not sure what to do next? What is the process? Through the years, Medines Collision Center has developed steps that should guide you through the process, and will enable you to be back on the streets of Baton Rouge as soon as possible. 

After your accident, normal precautions must be made such as; checking for injuries, dialing 911, looking for witnesses, calling your insurance company. One thing Medines suggests is to take pictures of everything. It’s assumed that you should take pictures of the damage, the accident and the injuries, but also take pictures of their license plate, driver’s license, and insurance card.

Mistakes happen, just writing their information down might lead to a costly error. Pulling out your camera phone and snapping a quick photo helps prevent numerical or alphabetical errors from occurring while working through your accident case. It's just a good idea to keep yourself protected.

Now it's time to get the insurance process started. At first glance, the car may appear like it will never drive the streets of Baton Rouge again. But, how do you find out and who can help?

Take Control, Choose Medines 

Have your car towed to Medines Collision Center. There it will be inspected for the severity of the damage and all information will be relayed to you and the insurance agency. Medines will complete a thorough inspection and administer a repair estimation report before moving forward. If the report comes back a total loss, Medines can provide you with a NADA (National Auto Dealers Association) value of your vehicle report. The insurance company might not want to use these figures, but the amount they offer is “negotiable.” Depending on the situation, it's often suggested that you get within a few hundred dollars of the bottom line figure, if possible.

Personal Items

Remove any personal items from inside the vehicle. You can also grab your license plate.  Medine’s will have you sign a release form in order for the insurance company to pick up your vehicle.  You do not want to sign the release form until you are satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations and ready to release your vehicle to the insurance company. 

3. Insurance - It is very important that you get all of your negotiations with the insurance company in WRITING. You do want the negotiations to drag on any longer than needed. However, you do not want to release your car until the negotiations with the insurance company are finalized. Once this process takes place, have the final numbers sent via, email, fax, or mail.

THE DMV 

Take the license plate to the DMV or a notary for handling. The DMV is free, usually a notary will charge around $5.00 to process it for you. You will need this to be done before you drop insurance on your vehicle. If you drop insurance before you turn in your license plate, the DMV will find you $75.00 after ten days.

Follow up with Medines 

Your car may need to be stored, and Medines is licensed to do so. You are not responsible for the tow, storage, and related fees. Do not let the insurance company tell you otherwise. The insurance company will come and pick up the car. However, make sure your personal items are back in your possession before they do so.

Medines Collison Center has been aiding drivers get back on the road for decades. We are here to help guide you through your accident no matter the severity. If you have just been in an accident and are looking for help with your case call 225-357-7983 or download more information about why you should Take Control an Choose Medines Collision Center.

10 reasons to choose medines

Topics: Auto Accident, Collision Repair, Choosing a Collision Center