Getting into a car accident is very emotionally taxing for anyone. Drivers stress and worry about injuries to passengers, dealing with the damage to your car, and dealing with someone else who is emotional about what just occurred. After the shock of what happened wears off, most drivers are unsure of what to do next. It is important to know what to do in the event of an accident and also it’s important for insured drivers to be prepared and knowledgeable about what coverage they have. Being prepared in the event of a collision will help alleviate stress and make the claims process smother for yourself and the other drivers.
According to the Illinois Department of Insurance, here are some helpful tips on what to do after an accident. The tips fall under three categories, be prepared, after and accident, and filing the claim.
- Speak with your agent about what deductible and liability limits you have. Make sure you have options for adding protection from uninsured and underinsured drivers.
- Always keep a copy of your current insurance card, registration, and other important documents in your vehicle.
- If you have teen drivers, make sure they understand the risks of unsafe driving and that they have had excellent driver’s education.
- Make sure you try and remain calm and do not get out of your vehicle if it isn’t safe.
- Contact police and inform them of any injuries.
- Check to make sure yourself and the other passengers are okay, safety is your number one priority. Do not attempt to move anyone who is unresponsive until paramedics arrive.
- Do not admit fault or discuss details of the accident until the authorities arrive.
- Make sure you gather information. You will need the name, vehicle information, insurance information, and license number of the other driver. Get the name and numbers of any witnesses on the scene.
Filing the Claim
- Call your insurance company or agent. Have the police or incident report available, and the details of the accident.
- Take notes when speaking with your agent, claims adjusters, and any conversations with auto shops.
- Talk to your insurance company about whose coverage will pay for what and whether or not you have rental car coverage. You will also want to be aware of any medical expenses that have occurred.
- Expenses will depend on who is at fault, and what coverage you have.
Being prepared and having the proper auto coverage will make the difficulties of dealing with an accident easier and smoother. It is also a good idea to make sure you have an emergency kit in you car, a fully charged cell phone, and a disposable camera. For all of your business and personal auto insurance needs, please contact our experienced independent insurance agents at Buttrey-Wulff-Mamminga agency.