What To Do
If You Are in an
At some point in our lives, we may have a
car accident. Many people do not know
what to do when this happens. Here are a
few tips to keep in mind:
- Stop your car. Be sure to not leave
the accident scene.
- Get the police and medical help right
away. Use your cell phone or get
someone else to make the call. In
most U. S. towns, you can call 911.
- When police get at the scene be sure
- Tell them what exactly occurred.
- Follow their instructions.
- If you are able, write down the
- Get a copy of the police
- Get this info from the other driver:
- Telephone number:
- Their insurance company:
- Names and addresses of all
- Get the names, addresses, and phone
numbers of all witnesses.
- Write down all the accident facts as
soon as you can.
- Call your insurance company at once
to inform them of the car accident.
There is a time period in which you
need to do this. So read your policy.
- Show the damaged car to your
claims agent, before you get your
car repaired. If it is confirmed that
the other driver is at fault, show your
car to their claim's agent.
- You may need to get more than one
repair shop estimate. You do not need
to use the repair shop the insurance
company suggests. If your repair
shop charges more than the other
company's suggested shop, you may
have to pay the difference.
- If your car is a total loss, it means
the cost to fix it is more than what it
is worth. Most total loss claims are
- Replacing the car with a
- Or offering the actual cash value
of the car using national or
computer market data sources.
- You must cooperate with the
insurance company's investigation.
Illinois law states
all drivers must
carry a minimum
damages they cause in an accident. The
amount needed is: $20,000 per person,
$40,000 per accident for bodily injury
liability, and $15,000 for property damage
liability. Also, Illinois law requires
insurance companies to get in touch with
you within 21 working days after they are
told of the car crash.
When you caused the car crash, you file a
claim with your insurance company.
When the other driver caused the
accident, you have the option to file a
claim with your own insurance company
or their company. When you file with
your own it is called a "first-party" claim.
If you file a claim with the other driver's
company it is called a "third-party" claim.
Insurance laws differ between the "first-party" and "third-party." It
is vital you know what your rights and duties are in
So read your policy. If you have
questions, talk with your insurance
company or the
Edited by Katherine Reuter, Extension Educator, Consumer
and Family Economics, University of Illinois Extension,Countryside Extension
Prepared by Susan E. Taylor, Extension Educator, Consumer
and Family Economic, University of Illinois Extension, Countryside
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