Millions of people get in a car accident each year. While it’s not something anyone wants to think about, most drivers experience at least a minor incident at some point in their lifetime.
Accidents can be a highly stressful experience for a variety of reasons. Even if no one is injured, it can still be difficult to think calmly about the proper steps to take next. Therefore, it’s good to be familiar with what actions might follow in case you need this information someday.
What actions should you take if you have been in a car crash?
Taking a few minutes to review the Illinois State Bar Association website (or one pertaining to the state you live in) will cover the basics that every driver should know.
Generally speaking, someone who has been in any car accident involving damages – whether to property or a person – has a legal obligation to report the incident to the police. If there are multiple drivers, they should exchange their:
- Vehicle registration number
Get police and any necessary medical assistance ASAP.
Local police will want to know precisely what happened. A few things for drivers to remember:
- Get the officer’s name.
- Get their contact information.
- Follow any instructions they give you.
- Inquire about getting a copy of the police report.
Were there witnesses?
Even without injuries, people can be pretty shaken up after a fender bender, let alone something more serious. If possible, try to get the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Their account of what happened might come in handy later on.
Contact your auto insurance provider.
Your auto insurance company will need to know about the accident in order to take the appropriate steps. Therefore, contact them when you are able. For more information on what may happen next, you can check out the “Conditions” or “Duties After Loss” section of your insurance policy. The Illinois Department of Insurance might have some answers to your questions posted online.
Should you give a statement to the insurer of the other driver?
This can get a little tricky. Whether you should give a statement to the other party’s insurance carrier depends on who you ask. You may want to first consult with a lawyer as well as your insurance provider if there is a request for a statement from you.
Legally, drivers must carry auto insurance in Illinois and elsewhere.
In Illinois and other states, the law dictates that vehicles must be registered and operated there to be covered by liability insurance. This type of insurance typically covers a range of expenses related to car accidents. It can cover different types of costs that may be incurred following an accident:
- Bodily injury coverage
- Property damage coverage
- Collision coverage
- Medical payments coverage
You may want to speak to an agent to get the right coverage for your family’s needs.
What actions might your insurance company take if a claim is filed against you?
What if a claim or lawsuit is brought against you due to a car crash you caused? An insurance policy’s liability coverage might do one of two things, depending on the situation. According to the Illinois Bar Association, the insurance company can typically pay for a lawyer to defend the insurance holder. Any property damage or injury to others caused by your actions as a driver should be covered up to the maximum policy limits. Extra coverage may also kick in.
If the other driver was at fault, you might be advised to file a claim against them.
What if the other driver’s insurance isn’t enough to compensate for your damages?
Sometimes the minimum uninsured motorist coverage isn’t enough to compensate for damages caused by a driver’s carelessness. If this is the case, your own insurance may kick in to cover the difference between the two policies.
Take care of routine car needs at CFSC Auto Services.
Hopefully you will never be involved in an accident. But should it happen, it can be a big relief knowing that you took care of routine auto-related tasks properly and promptly. At CFSC Auto Service throughout the Midwest, we will handle a number of these for you:
- Title and registration
- License plate renewals
- Replacing lost or stolen plates or stickers
- License plate transfers
When you stop by your nearest CFSC location, we can handle all of these tasks quickly and efficiently, as well assist with many other financial services – all under one roof! Check out CFSC Auto Services online to find out more!