Before people get into a traffic accident, they should consider reviewing their insurance policy, practice what to say and put together an accident kit.
Regardless of how careful people in Los Angeles try to be on the road, they can still find themselves the victim of a car accident at any given time. In 2013, the California Highway Patrol reports that across the state, there were over 156,000 traffic crashes that resulted in injury. In all, over 223,000 people were hurt and more than 3,100 killed. The numbers show that it is not a question of if a car accident happens, but when. The good news is that there are three things people can do to prepare before that day arrives.
The accident kit
It is important for people to know that there are certain things they are going to need when a collision happens. Pekin Insurance states that people should have their license, car’s registration, insurance card, pen and paper, a disposable camera, a first aid kit and a car safety kit. These kits usually contain the following:
- An accident form that collects information such as weather conditions, location of the accident, witnesses, other drivers, time of day and the status of the traffic light.
Another good thing that people should keep on hand is a list of any health conditions they or their family members have, and allergies to medication. This can help first responders understand what they need to watch out for.
Practice what to say
One of the biggest mistakes that people make after an accident is saying the wrong thing. Not only could it leave them legally liable, for the accident but it could lead to a denial of their insurance claim. For example, if a person says something like “I’m okay,” it could be used to show that the person was not injured, even if the person is diagnosed with a concussion or hyper flexion later on.
Experts say that people should never admit fault, even if they think they caused the crash. Instead, they should avoid saying things like “I didn’t see you,” “I’m so sorry,” or “I didn’t realize I was going so fast.” There may be other factors that contributed to the accident and it is always best for people to let law enforcement conduct a full investigation.
Check the insurance coverage
Car crashes can create a number of challenges. In addition to the need for medical care, the person’s vehicle could be totaled or left inoperable. People can prepare for these unexpected events by making sure that their insurance policy will provide the coverages they need. These coverages include a plan for towing and one that will pay for a rental car while they are shopping for a new car or waiting for their vehicle to be repaired. Underinsured or uninsured coverage is another component that people should think about adding on to their existing plan.
Another thing that people in California should consider is planning to seek legal counsel. An attorney can guide them through the claims process as well as advise them on what they should say to officers and others. Our founding attorney, Scott J. Corwin, has more than 30 years of experience in representing victims of DUI and drunk drivers injured in all forms of motor vehicle, motorcycle, truck, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and throughout the state of California.