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How To Prepare For A Car Accident Before It Happens: Here’s What To Do

June 16, 2022 by Steven M. Gursten

How To Prepare For A Car Accident Before It Happens

The best way to prepare for a car accident before it happens is by having auto insurance coverage on your vehicle and to carry the best coverage that you can afford.  You should also keep the following in your car: (1) proof of insurance; (2) proof registration; (3) emergency contacts (for EMS/police if you are unresponsive at the scene) ; (4) your medical allergies and any medical conditions you are treated for; and (5) an “Emergency Kit.” 

Having auto insurance on your motor vehicle is the best way to prepare for a car accident

The best strategy for how to prepare for a car accident before it happens is to make sure that when you are driving your own car or truck you have valid auto insurance coverage on your vehicle. This will protect you and your family by helping to pay medical bills and lost wages if you are injured.

If you do not have valid coverage on your vehicle when you are involved in an auto accident, then you will be treated as “uninsured” and the penalties for driving without insurance in Michigan are very severe.

If you are driving your own vehicle without the legally mandated No-Fault insurance, you will be disqualified from recovering No-Fault benefits – which are vital to a car crash victim’s medical treatment, care and recovery. 

You will be prohibited from suing the at-fault driver for pain and suffering compensation and for vehicle damage repair costs. 

Also, you could be sued by other people’s insurance companies for No-Fault benefits they received as a result of the crash.

Finally, as an “uninsured” driver, you could be found guilty of a misdemeanor, forced to pay a fine, potentially be sent to jail, and have your license suspended.

Carrying full No-Fault coverage is an important way how to prepare for a car accident before it happens

Carrying full auto insurance coverage is an important strategy for how to prepare for a car accident. With full coverage in place before a crash occurs, you will have the best chance of having the insurance protection you will need to cover for medical bills, lost wages and for your pain and suffering compensation.

As an automobile crash lawyer for nearly 30 years, the coverages that I recommend include: (1) unlimited No-Fault PIP medical coverage with no deductible; (2) liability coverage of at least $500,000; (3) uninsured motorist coverage (this pays for your pain and suffering compensation if the at-fault driver who injured you was “uninsured”); (4) underinsured motorist coverage coverage (this pays for your pain and suffering compensation if the at-fault driver who injured you had inadequate liability insurance coverage); (5) collision insurance; and (6) mini tort coverage (also called “limited property damage” coverage).

Have your registration, owner and driver’s license information available

One way to prepare for a car accident in Michigan is to make sure you to have the following information available: (1) your name and address; (2) the registration number of the vehicle you are driving (including proof of registration); (3) name and address of the vehicle’s owner (if it is someone other than you); and (4) your driver’s license. (MCL 257.619(a) and (b)); 257.255(1))

You have a legal duty to provide the information to the other people involved in the automobile crash as well as to the police.

Keep your insurance information on hand

Prepare for a car accident before it happens by making sure that you have your insurance information on hand. Generally, this can be accomplished by keeping your insurance card – i.e., the “certificate of insurance” that your auto insurance company gave you – in your glove box or somewhere secure.

Your insurance card will include the following necessary information: (1) the name of your auto insurance company; (2) your name as the “named insured” on the policy (if you own the vehicle you are driving); (3) address of the named insured (i.e., your address); (4) VIN number of each vehicle listed on the policy; and (5) your auto insurance policy number. (MCL 500.3101a(1)) 

If a police officer requests proof that your vehicle was insured at the time of the accident, you must provide proof. (MCL 257.328(1) and (2))

Emergency contacts

Another course of action to take to prepare for a car accident is to make sure you have an “Emergency Contacts” card in your vehicle with contact information (names, phone numbers, email addresses) for your spouse, family, loved ones, friends or your work in case you are injured in a crash and your injuries prevent you from being able to convey this information. 

Medical information

If you are currently taking medications and/or you are under the care of a doctor, make sure you have this information available for first responders to find. This may include: (1) a list of your medications and especially any medical allergies you may have; (2) any medical conditions you are treating for; and (3) your doctors’ names and contact information.

Proof that your No-Fault PIP medical coverage is primary

If you chose for your No-Fault PIP medical coverage to be the primary payor for your accident-related medical bills, then your approach to prepare for a car accident in Michigan is to have a copy of your Dec Page (i.e., declarations page) from your auto insurance policy documenting your selection. 

This will help prevent delays in your care – or a denial of care – due to confusion by the ER staff or other medical providers as to the source of insurance coverage that will be paying for your medical care.

Proof of health insurance

If you have coordinated No-Fault auto insurance coverage where you have elected to have your private health insurance be the primary provider for your accident-related medical care, then you should have your health insurance information available to prevent denials of or delays in medical care due to confusion about whether you are covered.

Proof of Medicare coverage

For drivers who want to prepare for a car accident in Michigan who are on Medicare who have opted out of No-Fault PIP medical coverage, it is advisable that they have proof of their Medicare coverage to prevent denials of or delays in medical care. (MCL 500.3107d(1) and (7)(c))

Proof of Medicaid coverage  

If you are enrolled in Medicaid and you selected the $50,000 No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage level in your policy, then you will want to have proof of your Medicaid coverage in order to prevent denials of or delays in your medical care. (MCL 500.3107c(1)(a))

To prepare for a car accident make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle

Having an “Emergency Kit” in your vehicle is an excellent strategy for how to prepare for a car accident before it happens. This way you will have what you need after a crash: (1) a medical first-aid kit; (2) a fire extinguisher; and (3) blankets and/or sleeping bags to stay warm until first responders arrive.

Other items that you should have in your emergency kit include: (a) orange safety cones to alert other drivers that your vehicle is disabled from a crash; (b) flares; (c) a “HELP” sign to signal other motorists or first responders; (d) reflective clothing to wear if you must exit your vehicle; (e) a flashlight; and (f) non-perishable food items and bottled water to sustain you and your family until first responders arrive. 

Have questions about how to prepare for a car accident before it happens? Call the auto accident attorneys at Michigan Auto Law

If you have questions about how to prepare for a car accident before it happens or about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and auto No-Fault insurance benefits after an automobile crash, you can speak to an experienced lawyer at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation. You can also get help from an experienced No-Fault insurance attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.

How To Prepare For A Car Accident Before It Happens: Here\'s What To Do

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