3 ways to prepare for an accident before it happens

Car accidents can happen at a moment’s notice but there are ways that people can prepare ahead for them.

While Maryland is a smaller state when compared to most of its neighbors, car accidents are still a big challenge. According to the most recent statistics available from the Maryland Department of Transportation, an average of 100,000 collisions occur each year. In fact, less people are killed through homicide than they are in traffic accidents. Whether people want to think about it or not, their risk of getting into an accident is fairly high. However, there are three ways that they can prepare for that crash before it actually occurs.

1. Know what to say

Cars.com says one thing people should never do is say "I'm sorry" or acknowledge that they may have been responsible for the accident. Instead, they should strictly stick to just getting the other driver's information. Saying "I'm sorry" is a common sympathetic phrase that people often fall back on, but in a setting like this, it could be used to show that the person is admitting fault in some way.

The other thing that people should avoid saying is "I'm fine." Instead, they should automatically say "I'm pretty shaken right now" or "I'm not sure." These types of phrases give them a measure of protection, should they realize that they have suffered injury later on. The other phrase could be used by the insurance company to deny a claim.

2. Have documentation tools ready

One of the best ways that people can avoid any unnecessary litigation with an insurance company is to document everything they can about the accident. Many cellphones already come with cameras, but if the camera doesn't take the best or clearest pictures, it would be a good idea for people to keep a disposable one in the car. Additionally, they should have a form that can help them gather all of the information about the accident that includes the following:

  • Date/time of the accident
  • Location including information concerning nearest intersection of cross roads
  • Weather conditions
  • Names/info of other drivers involved
  • Speed at the time of crash
  • The presence of any stoplights or traffic signs

The forms can also have spaces for the responding officer's name and the police report number. These forms can be obtained from insurance companies, or people can draft their own.

3. Review the insurance policy

While Maryland requires all drivers to have insurance, the standard policy may not be enough to support people after a crash. People should think about what their needs will be. Will they require a rental car? What will happen if their car has to be towed? Will their insurance cover them if the other driver does not have enough insurance or no insurance at all?

They should then meet with their insurance agent to discuss these possibilities and to make sure that their current policy will provide them with that coverage.

An unexpected car accident can leave people in Maryland struggling with an injury and facing medical bills. They may find it helpful to meet with an attorney who can show them what their options are.