Sometimes, a bit of planning can go a long way to forestalling negative consequences. This is especially true when planning for a disaster. We all know that planning for a blizzard or a flood should happen before the first snowflake falls or the water appears at our doors, but what about planning in case something terrible like a car crash ever happens? Although no one wants to think about it, the best time to plan on how to handle a vehicle accident is before it ever takes place!
Here are five things you should do before you ever need the advice and experience of an attorney to help you handle your car accident case. Hopefully, you will never need to put these plans into place, but if you do, being prepared is so much better than being unprepared!
- Be sure your insurance is up to date. Car insurance policies, like other policies, tend to age over time and begin to be inadequate for our needs. Are your liability limits as high as they should be, given your assets? Most of us acquire more property as time goes on, which could be at risk if we are ever involved in an accident. It is important to be sure we have high liability limits to protect ourselves and our passengers in the event of a car accident.
- Sign up for uninsured motorist coverage. It is a sad fact that many people on the road today are uninsured or underinsured. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 16 percent of Alaska drivers are uninsured, making it the 14th highest state in the nation for uninsured drivers. It is all too possible that you may encounter one of these drivers on the road and need the protection of your uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your medical bills or those of your passengers if you are involved in a crash.
- Keep important contact information in your vehicle. If you were involved in a crash, would you know how to contact your insurance company? What about others in your family? It may be helpful to have a small card in your glove compartment with some contact information for your insurance company and some basic information in case you are incapacitated. Be careful about sharing too much personal information, however; you do not want to put names and addresses into anyone’s hands if your car happened to be burglarized.
- Keep some bottled water, a first aid kit and blankets in your vehicle at all times. If you live in a mountainous or remote area, you might want to add a few other items to your preparation kit, such as energy bars, a cell phone charger and road flares. Having these items on hand will make it much easier for you to survive if you are stranded for any length of time, particularly in winter, due to a crash.
- Take a defensive driving course. Defensive driving courses not only lower your insurance rates but they also make it easier for you to avoid accidents altogether. These courses teach useful skills in watching out for dangerous situations and for others drivers who might not be as careful as you on the road.
Finally, if you are involved in an accident, it is good to have the name of a personal injury attorney who can help you ensure that you are getting the full amount of damages to which you are entitled. At Barber & Associates, we are here to help you protect yourself and your family. Give us a call today to discuss your case and let us help you recover the money you deserve!