Preparing for a car accident before one happens

People don't start their day thinking that they are going to get into a car accident. However, a car accident can occur at any time. If people are unprepared, they could find themselves in an uphill battle with their insurance company or the other party that is at fault. The good news, is that it is possible for people in Anchorage to prepare for one before it actually happens.

Car accident kit

One way to prepare is to put together a car accident kit. American Family Insurance states that the following items can be helpful after a collision:

  • Flashlight
  • Paper and pen for note taking
  • Insurance information
  • Law enforcement agency numbers
  • Vehicle registration copy
  • Disposable camera if their cellphone camera does not work that well

Additionally, people should have emergency items such as flares and a list of any medications they are allergic to or health conditions they suffer from.

Review the insurance policy

Many people don't give a thought to that insurance policy they are paying for until after they get into an accident. However, by failing to review their policy, they could find themselves caught off guard. When looking at the policy, people should make sure that they understand what their financial obligations are in the event of a collision. Sometimes people choose the highest deductible because it lowers their premium but this could leave them in a financial bind if they don't have enough money to pay it.

It is also a good idea for people to think about what their needs will be in the event of an accident. Will they need towing or a rental car? If that is the case, they should consider adding on a towing or rental car coverage to their policy. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is essential to protecting you and your vehicle's occupants. Most of the worst drivers and many bad drivers are underinsured or not insured at all. In Alaska, you can purchase high limits for this coverage even if you have purchased only minimum liability limits. Ask about price: often you can get 10 times the coverage for only a few dollars more. Without this UM/UIM coverage, you can be left in financial ruin if hurt badly by someone with little or no insurance.

Know what to say

Cars.com points out that saying the wrong thing can get people into trouble after an accident. Often, people are in shock when they have been hit by another car and a common phrase to use is "I'm so sorry." However, saying something like this can be misinterpreted as an admission of guilt. It is better for people to refrain from saying anything about the accident.

When people are asked if they are okay, the normal response is to say "yes." Doing so can cause problems later on if an injury surfaces. Instead, people should say that they are not sure if they are injured or that they are pretty shaken up. This gives them a protective buffer as sometimes physical pain and injury may not show up till several hours later when the shock has worn off. Talking to an experienced attorney is also a good way to seek guidance on what should and should not be said.