Article by: Elizabeth Ingram
Vice President of People Strategy, CU Insurance Solutions
Now, I sincerely hope that you are never in the position that this information is of any use to you. But let’s talk about car crashes. Last year, my husband’s SUV was hit on an icy highway; it flipped and the car was totaled; thankfully, his only injury was a bump on the head. Last week, my car got rear-ended as I waited to turn at a four-way intersection. There was minor damage to the cars and no injuries, but my not-quite two-year-old daughter was in the car, so I called the pediatrician. So, here’s the skinny…
At the Scene of the Accident
- Pull over to a safe spot with the other vehicle if possible
- Call the police
- Exchange license, insurance, and registration information
- Take pictures of the damage
- After speaking with the police, you can head out
After the Accident
Be sure to call your insurance carrier ASAP to file a claim; this can sometimes be done via app or online as well.
If you are feeling the effects of the accident, you should also call your doctor.
If you had kids in the car, you may choose to call the pediatrician even if they seem to be fine especially if they might not have the words to tell you if they don’t feel well. My pediatrician let me know under what circumstances I should call back. They also let me know that their car seat specialists suggested I call the car seat manufacturers.
Replacing Your Car Seat/s
The NHTSA site (Car Seat Use After a Crash | NHTSA) states that car seats need to be replaced after moderate to severe crashes even if they weren’t in use at the time of the accident. However, when I checked with my car seat manufacturer (it happens to be Graco), they stated I should replace the car seats after ANY accident. Think of it like a bike helmet after you hit your head; it needs to be replaced even if there isn’t any visible damage because the structural integrity may be compromised. I know this can seem crazy expensive.
Next, you need to reach out to your insurance carrier and find out what they need to reimburse you for the cost of replacing the car seats. When my husband’s car was totaled, I just needed to provide a receipt, but this time we need to provide a picture of the old car seats (with the straps cut), receipts, and pictures of the new car seats. It’s a little bit of a process, but the reimbursement (if you’ve hit your deductible) definitely makes it worth it.