Auto Accident Info You Should Know for Your Safety and Protection
If you’ve ever been in a car accident then you know how stressful and expensive this sudden and violent event can be. If you haven’t, then take our word for it, it’s definitely a stress-filled situation from the start. But, studies show that preparation helps reduce stress and expenses. It definitely goes a long way when dealing with an unexpected car crash.
This auto accident “to do” article will help prepare you for such an event. It outlines the things you should do before and after a car accident. Included is important information for your own safety and protection. It’s our responsibility to do our best to safeguard ourselves, family, and savings.
You may be thinking; I don’t need this information because I practice “defensive driving”. Even so, no matter how defensive or safe you drive, it’s the other drivers you can’t control. Even IF everyone could drive safe at all times, mishaps would still happen. That’s why they’re called accidents… Heck, we’re only human.
If you haven’t been in a car accident then consider yourself fortunate. Look at these numbers by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV):
Over 340,000 crashes involving over 569,000 drivers recorded in the state of Florida alone in 2020.Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV)
That’s an average of over 900 crashes per day.
Florida Traffic Crash Facts 2020 PDF
What to Do BEFORE a Car Accident
Unfortunately, car accidents happen… because of this, there’s a need for proper car insurance to help cover the costs associated with it. The severity of an auto accident can range from a fender-bender to something more serious. Being proactive with your car insurance protects both you and your wallet in the event it is serious.
Ensure You Have Proper Auto Accident Coverage
When it comes to car insurance, it’s important to educate yourself so you can choose the coverage for you. Talk with an experienced, local insurance agent who can answer your coverage questions. A good agent should ask these questions of you with your best interests in mind.
Basic Automobile Coverage
The State of Florida requires a basic amount of car insurance coverage by law. When registering for a license plate, proof of this coverage must be present. Your proof of insurance must show the proper PIP and PDL coverage amounts.
- PIP = Personal Injury Protection
- PDL = Property Damage Liability
Currently, drivers in Florida must carry:
- $10,000 or more in PIP
- $10,000 or more in PDL
Unfortunately, laws do not stop drivers from driving underinsured or even without insurance. In fact, uninsured motorists are an increased risk to all drivers. Look at this surprising statics:
One in Eight Drivers are Uninsured.Insurance Research Council
One in Eight Drivers Uninsured News Release PDF
What Does This Mean?
If you’re in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver and do not have adequate coverage… You may not be able to cover your injuries and repairs. To safeguard from this, you need UM and UIM insurance.
- UM = Uninsured Motorist
- UIM = Underinsured Motorist
Currently, drivers in Florida are not required to carry UM or UIM coverage.
UM and UIM coverage may cost more, but well worth it when it comes to you and your family getting proper treatment if needed. Be sure to ask when discussing your insurance policy with a qualified agent.
What to Do AFTER a Car Accident
There are no set “rules” for what to do after an auto accident because each one has its own, unique circumstances. You may have heard to call a lawyer referral service first. But, for your health and safety, there are other things to consider. Here are the 7 most important things you should do immediately after any car accident:
- MOVE TO SAFETY: Put your hazard lights on and, if possible, move your vehicle out of the way of traffic and more potential danger.
- CHECK FOR INJURIES: Check your passengers and yourself for injuries. Then check other driver(s) and passengers involved in the crash for injuries.
- CALL THE POLICE: Call the police no matter how small the incident and wait until they arrive on scene. Avoid all confrontation with agitated other parties.
- DO NOT DISCUSS: Do not discuss the details of your accident with anyone other than the police, your insurance carrier, and your attorney.
- EXCHANGE INFO: Once the police have arrived… Exchange info with all motorists involved and eye witnesses. Get full names, driver’s license, tag number, and insurance information. Take a photo with your phone of their ID and insurance card if possible.
- GET POLICE REPORT: Get a copy of the police accident report as soon as possible. Ask the police officer on the scene when the report will be available and where to access it.
- REPORT TO INSURANCE: Report the car accident to your insurance carrier by contacting them directly. The claim number to call is located on your insurance ID card. Contact your insurance agent if needed.
- TREAT YOUR INJURIES: Treat your injuries as soon as possible. Passengers should also treat their injuries asap.
How We Can Help
Everyone knows insurance can get confusing, but Caton Hosey is here to help. We can explain insurance coverage in ways that make sense. You’ll have peace of mind in choosing the policy for you, your family, and your vehicle.
Help Before a Car Accident
Help After a Car Accident
We can provide the specific contact number for claims at your insurance provider. Caton Hosey can assist you in filing your claim for repairs and answer general questions.
We hope this article helps you and our wish is that no one has to experience an automobile accident big or small. But if they do, we hope no one suffers injuries and vehicle damages are light. Always remember to please drive safe!
- Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Crash and Citation Reports & Statistics (www.flhsmv.gov/resources/)
Florida Insurance Requirements (www.flhsmv.gov/insurance/)
- Insurance Research Council (www.insurance-research.org)
- Allstate Insurance Company Uninsured motorist coverage & underinsured motorist coverage (www.allstate.com)