Accidents —> Safety First
Remain at the scene of an accident if your vehicle is involved. If you are injured, send others for help.
- Worry first about the passengers in the vehicles and their immediate safety.
- Turn off ignition switches to avoid a risk of fire.
- Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless their vehicle is on fire.
- Wait for the police and ambulances to arrive. (If you are in a remote area and there are significant injuries, attempt to minimize bleeding or administer CPR if necessary).
Get important information at the scene.
(Get at least the names and phone numbers of any witnesses or people who stopped to help.)
- Share only pertinent information at the scene.
- Provide your driver’s license, registration, and contact information only to the other drivers, injured persons, or police officers. Do NOT discuss the circumstances of the accident with anyone except the police. Do NOT discuss responsibility with anyone except a positively identified representative of your insurance company.
- Complete an Accident Record.
Write down everything you can remember about the accident. Include as many details as possible. Revisit the scene at a later time if necessary to take pictures.
- Report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Arkansas State Law requires that all accidents involving injury/death or property damage in excess of $500.00 be reported within ten (10) days to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Notify your Insurance Agent immediately. Date & Time Called & Claim Number
Towing the Vehicle
City, county, and state police have a call list of towing operators that are approved by the State to tow from limited access highways and from county streets. These operators are licensed and bonded and experienced in towing late model vehicles to preclude further damage to your car.
Most automobile insurance policies include a nominal “towing” coverage, but you should be advised that the allowances provided in coverage do not always pay the towing bill in full. If your car is being towed long distances off the interstate, at odd hours, or in extreme weather conditions, there may be legitimate additional charges from the towing operator that may not be covered by your towing allowance.
As soon as possible after any accident, you should contact your insurance company or agent. You should be aware that your insurance company may record your telephone call or verbal report of what happened, and you should always request a written transcript of your statement for your personal records. Your insurance company must provide this transcript to you upon request and without charge.
It may take your insurance company/agent several days to get back to you with a claim number. The claim number is very important: Be sure to write it down, and repeat it back to the agent to verify that you copied it correctly. If your insurance company takes longer than a week to assign a claim number, or is not forthcoming on the reasons for the delay, you may wish to consult an attorney to further protect your rights.
Reputable collision repair facilities will require a claim number to begin repair of your vehicle. Be wary of companies offering to begin repairs without the proper paperwork.
It is not advisable to accept a settlement check from your insurance company or the insurance company of another driver involved the accident, until you are certain that it covers all the necessary repairs to your vehicle. If you are being pressured by an insurance company to settle prior to receipt of detailed repair estimates, you may wish to consult an attorney.
Even though the laws of many other states prohibit driving a vehicle without auto insurance, people do drive without insurance every day. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist and they are at fault, your only recourse for liability and payment is legal action, a costly and time-consuming alternative.
In the meantime, any repairs to your vehicle, the need for rental or loaner cars, and other expenses will be something you will have to pay out of personal funds and hope to recoup later.
The best advice-make sure you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage for every vehicle listed on your automobile insurance policy. Uninsured Motorist Coverage provides policy coverage for both personal injuries and property damage. The cost of this coverage is minimal and the peace of mind it provides is invaluable.