What To Do If You Are In An
Many people panic when they get in an auto accident. They worry how
it will affect their insurance rates and other matters. Sometimes, panic
causes people to say things they will later regret and to not obtain
important accident information.
Here are steps to follow if you are in a car accident. Following them
will reduce the hassles and increase your chances of receiving the
maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
• Call 911 to summon medical help for anyone injured.
• Exchange information. After injuries are attended to, talk to the
other driver to exchange information. You should exchange the
following information with the other driver: name, address, phone
number and driver’s license number, insurance company and policy number.
• If the driver of the other car is not the owner, get the
registered owner’s name, address and phone number and the name of his
or her insurance company and policy number.
• Other car. Write down the other car’s make, model, year, license number and vehicle
• Witnesses. Get the name, address and home and work phone numbers of all
witnesses (including passengers in both cars).
• Make notes. As soon as you can, write notes of what happened.
Include road and weather conditions as well as where and
when the accident happened.
• Don’t admit fault. Whether at the
scene or after, don’t admit fault, even if you think you caused the
accident. Things you say can be used against you, and statements like
“I’m not injured” or “it was my fault” can hurt your case even if they
• Pictures. Take photos of the accident scene and cars involved.
Also photograph your injuries. These can help show the pain you suffered.
• Legal help. Having our help
after a car accident is vital. We will advise you about notifying
other parties, your rights, and how much money you may be entitled to
recover. Call us promptly, as there are time limits for making claims.
Also, the longer you wait, the harder it can be to find evidence and witnesses.
Following these steps will help get assistance to injured people, create
a good record of what happened, and help you receive the maximum recovery.
Do You Have Enough Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Auto accidents involving drivers who have little or no insurance are common.
Nearly 15% of all drivers do not carry insurance. In some states, the percentage
of uninsured drivers is as high as 25%. People in an accident with a driver who has little or no insurance are often
shocked to learn they will recover little money (often none)
for their injuries and losses. Fortunately, there is an easy and inexpensive
way for you to help avoid this tragic situation — have
enough uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. Here is a
brief explanation of each.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
This protects you if a
person who causes an accident and injures you has no insurance or is
a hit-and-run driver. It lets you collect money from your own insurance
company for your injuries and losses, including your medical expenses,
lost wages, loss of future earning ability, disfigurement and pain and suffering.
To benefit from this valuable protection, you must have it as part
of your auto insurance policy.
Uninsured motorist insurance can be one of the best auto coverages
you buy, as it can provide a great deal of protection usually at a low
Underinsured Motorist Insurance
This protects you if a
driver injures you and does not have enough insurance to pay for all
your injuries and losses. For example, he or she may carry only the
minimum amount of insurance required by law, but it may not cover
all your injuries and losses. Your underinsured motorist insurance
will protect you so that you will be fully compensated for your
injuries and losses (up to the amount of your coverage).
Underinsured motorist coverage also must be part of your own auto
insurance policy. It is also usually inexpensive and can make the
difference between being fully compensated for your injuries and losses or bearing a
large portion of the losses yourself.
The worst time to find out you don’t have the right auto insurance
is after an accident. So take a moment and review your auto
insurance policies to make sure you have enough uninsured and
underinsured motorist insurance. You will have the peace of mind knowing that you are protected in case of an
accident with an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver.
And if you are in such an accident and want to make a claim under
your insurance policy, call us. Uninsured and underinsured
motorist insurance claims can be complex. We will help make sure
the proper steps are taken and that you receive all you are entitled
to obtain under your auto insurance policy.
Tips For Driving Children Safely
Every year, about 2,000 children under age 15 are killed in car accidents and
200,000 more are hurt. Many of these tragedies can be avoided, as they are
caused by not driving children properly. There are different ways children
are driven in a dangerous manner, including putting them in the wrong
safety restraint or not putting them in a restraint at all. Here are tips
to make sure that when you drive children, they are properly restrained and as safe as possible.
Use the right child car seat
The law requires infants and toddlers to
ride in child car seats. But there are different kinds of child car seats.
According to the government, from birth to at least one year old and 20 pounds,
infants should ride in a rear-facing infant seat. From age one and 20 pounds to
about age four and 20-40 pounds, children should ride in a forward-facing
toddler seat. After that they should ride in booster seats. Safety experts recommend that kids who
have outgrown child safety seats use booster seats until they are at least age
8, unless they are at least 4 feet 9 and 80 pounds. Once a child outgrows
a booster seat, he or she can use adult seat belts.
Children and air bags
Never put a rear-facing infant car seat in
the front seat of a car with a passenger side air bag. In a crash, the air bag
can inflate with enough force to severely injure or
kill the child.
Children should ride properly restrained in the back seat
Children approximately ages 12 years old and younger should ride properly
restrained in the back seat. Kids are safer the
farther they are from the impact point — usually a frontal crash.
Install and use child car seats correctly
A government study showed that over 70% of children ride in car seats that are misused in a way
likely to increase a child's risk of injury in a crash. To
be sure your child car seat is installed and used right, read your car owner’s
manual and the instructions that come with the car seat. The best child car seat
is one that fits your child, fits your car and is easy to install and use right
Use only approved child car seats
Buy and use only seats that meet federal
Department of Transportation safety rules. Look for a label saying: “This child
restraint system meets all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.”
Also, send in registration cards that come with new safety
seats so manufacturers can notify you in case of a recall.
Make sure children always wear seat belts
According to the government, children between the ages of 13 and 15 are
likely to not wear seat belts. As a parent, it is vital to make sure
children always wear their seat belt. Seat belts are a person's best protection in a crash, and
they save thousands of lives every year.
These are just a few ways to help prevent harm to children in car accidents.
With proper care, parents can make sure children are properly buckled when
driving, helping to ensure their safety.