Car accidents happen every minute of every day. If you are ever involved in one, hopefully it will only be a small fender bender, and you can just walk away. But unfortunately, severe car accidents happen on a regular basis. So what do you need to do to be prepared?
First, review your insurance policy before the crash with someone competent. I would be glad to help you with an insurance inspection. Under Michigan No-Fault Insurance, there are several insurance options that one needs to be aware of. Michigan requires every driver to carry no-fault insurance. This type of insurance covers areas such as; Personal Injury Protection, Excess Medical, Wage Loss, Property Protection Insurance, and Residual Bodily Injury and Property Damage. There are also two areas of No-Fault, that are optional, that you may not know about Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to provide a source of recovery when a driver without insurance causes harm. With uninsured coverage, the insurer pays the insured the damages the insured would have recovered had the other driver been insured, subject of course to the uninsured policy limit. Underinsured motorist coverage goes one step further, allowing the insured victim to recover from his or her insurer damages sustained in an accident with an underinsured driver, or, put another way, a driver who has inadequate coverage to compensate for the injuries that are caused. Michigan law only requires a minimum of $20,000 which many people have but is not very much. No matter what coverage you have, make sure your insurance premiums are paid and up to date before you drive your car.
Second, the most important thing every motorist should have in their car in case of an emergency is a cell phone. Today, cell phones are a vital tool in case of emergencies. Even if you do not have a contractual cell phone policy, prepaid cell phones provide the option of having a phone without a monthly fee. Prepaid cell phones can be stored in a glove box and used only for emergencies, just make sure the phone is loaded with minutes. In case of an emergency, a cell phone can be used to contact a variety of individuals for help. But do not talk on a cell phone while driving. It is very distracting.
Third, every driver should put together a car accident kit. In this kit, besides a cell phone, there should be a pen, pad of paper, your vehicle’s registration, a copy of your auto insurance card, disposable camera, and emergency contact numbers. Make sure your vehicle registration and auto insurance card is kept up to date, to avoid any confusion or negative repercussions.
The emergency contact list should include phone numbers of the local police station, your insurance company, lawyer, doctor, and family contacts. Also, programmed into the cell phone should be an in Case of Emergency number (ICE). The ICE number is the person you want to be contacted in case of an emergency where you are unable to communicate with emergency personnel. This person should have all of your medical information and know any procedure you have in place for an emergency.
The disposable camera is a necessity if an accident has occurred. This camera can be used to take photos of the damage that happened to the vehicles after the accident. Documentation of the vehicle's damage is important later for insurance and legal purpose. Remember, safety first, do not take pictures if the accident scene is unsafe or if you have sustained serious injuries.
It is also a good idea to have a car emergency kit that is the trunk or back of the car. This kit should contain road flares or “ light sticks,” reflective road signs, flashlight, and bright-colored flags. These all could be used to warn other drivers about any accident in front of them. You also may want to add to the kit jumper cables, a fire extinguisher, paper towels, motor oil, “ fix a flat”, and water for the radiator. Also for the kit should contain drinking water, nonperishable food, and blankets in case you are in a situation where emergency personnel is unable to reach you for an extended period of time.
The last thing that every driver should have in case of an accident is a medical first aid kit. The first aid kit should be easily accessible and contain material that can be utilized to help with injuries until emergency personnel can arrive. The first aid kit should also contain any medication that is for daily use or for allergic reactions. It is also a good idea to have a medical information list either in the first aid kit or in the car accident kit, that can inform emergency personnel about any medical conditions you may have.
Everyone wishes that they never experience an auto accident. The reality is that auto accidents happen. If you are properly prepared, the better the chance you will be able to deal with the situation after an accident has happened.