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Illinois car accidents: Preparing ahead can save you money

People in Saint Clair County like to be prepared for the unexpected. However, while you may be prepared for some things, it is possible that you have overlooked the possibility of being in a car accident.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 886 collisions in the state during 2012 that were fatal. It is unknown how many injuries were reported but it is likely in the thousands. Dealing with a car accident can be a stressful experience but there are things that you can do to be prepared and avoid unnecessary litigation later on.

Reviewing insurance policy

By law you are required to carry insurance on your vehicle but few people really give a thought to whether the insurance policy they pay for will cover their needs in the event of a truck accident. Edmunds recommends taking the time to carefully examine the components of your auto insurance before you need it.

For example, as you look at the deductible and coverage areas, you should also be asking yourself what your personal needs will be. If you don’t have a second vehicle, you may need a rental car and not all insurance policies cover this expense. Higher deductibles means that you pay less every month but do you have the money in the bank to cover that deductible for your auto repair bill or medical expense?

Talking with others at the accident scene

Shock and confusion is common after an accident occurs and sometimes it is easy to say something that could be taken the wrong way. For example, telling someone that you feel fine could lead to issues with an insurance company if an injury later surfaces, which can happen after the shock wears off.

The same caution should be used when speaking about the accident, itself. Never admit that you may have been speeding or that you were distracted because it could lead to an early conclusion by investigators that you are at fault when you may not have been.

Traveling with an accident kit

In order to document the accident, you should assemble an accident kit and keep it in the car at all times. This kit should include the following items:

  • A list of any medications or health concerns you or your family members have.
  • Contacts for your insurance company and family; this can also be kept in a smart phone.
  • Accident form – you can usually get one of these from your insurance company; the form has places for witness information, other cars/drivers involved and details about the accident.

The accident kit can also include other things too such as emergency medical supplies, flares, warning traffic triangles, a flashlight and special blankets to keep in body heat. If you have a smart phone you should also keep the name and number of an attorney who can provide you with legal guidance when that accident occurs.