Pack of Papers: 5 Documents You Need to Have in Your Vehicle at ALL Times
Here on the Sessums Law Group blog, we have written about what you should (and shouldn’t) do in the case of an automobile accident. However, something we haven’t yet covered is the documents you should have with you if, or when, you are in a collision.
Having your paperwork in order before you ever need it will save a lot of stress and anxiety in the event of a car accident. Here are the 5 most important documents you should have with you in your car at all times…in addition to your driver’s license.
Your vehicle registration is as important as your keys if you get into an accident or are pulled over. This document proves that your car is registered in the state (or province) where you reside, and it also shows that your vehicle belongs to YOU. In other words, your vehicle registration is a quick way for someone to verify that the car you are driving is not stolen, and in the case of an accident, that is a headache you’ll be thankful to avoid.
Proof of Car Insurance
This is a HUGE necessity to have in your car. Each year your car insurance will give you a new “proof of insurance” card (or piece of paper that you can print out at home) and this should be kept in your car for easy access. Make sure it’s secure, but don’t hide it somewhere that is difficult to find if you are in an accident, or if you are pulled over and law enforcement asks to see it. Most states require at least a minimum amount of coverage on a vehicle, so for both personal and legal reasons, make sure you have it ready to go!
Your Health Insurance Card
If you are in an accident, your health insurance card will be an important asset to have on hand. This should generally be kept on your person, not in your car, but regardless of where you keep it you need to have it every time you hit the road. If you are in an accident and sustain injuries that require emergency care, your health insurance card will be a nice commodity when registering at the hospital and trying to determine information such as policy numbers, contact info for your insurance company, etc.
Your Family and/or Children’s Health Insurance Cards
If your spouse, significant other, or children have a different healthcare plan than yours, or if they have separate cards/policy numbers, you need to have those cards or information on hand alongside yours. In the case of an accident, you’ll want to make sure they are covered in the same ways we mentioned above. In the case of children this can be especially important as they are minors and thanks to laws regarding release of information, having their cards and paperwork on hand can be helpful.
An Emergency Information and Contact List
A paper that might not be a common addition to the glove box is an emergency contact list. In today’s age of cellular phones and devices, many people keep all their contacts digitally, but this could be a problem if you are in a car accident. In the case that you are incapable of responding to help, or are unable to speak to emergency personnel, having a list of emergency contact information, and pertinent information about yourself, stored in the glove box (perhaps alongside your registration and proof of insurance) can be a huge help to those trying to assist you. Your phone might not always be nearby, or could be damaged in the accident, and that can lead to a stressful situation for everyone involved. Things to include on your emergency list are:
- Any health-related information about yourself including blood type, allergies, health conditions, etc.
- At least three contacts that should be called in the case of an accident. Typical choices include a spouse, parents, adult children, or a close friend. Make sure to include their names, phone numbers, and relation to you.
We hope this helps you better organize your paperwork in your car so as to make sure you’re always prepared! If you have been in an accident and are dealing with piles of legal and insurance paperwork after the fact, give us a call. Sessums Law Group is proud to serve the greater Lakeland area with top-quality assistance in cases involving vehicular accidents. We know that accidents are often unexpected and can cause a huge amount of stress on you and your loved ones. Let us handle the stress. Remember, when something unexpected happens, we stand for YOU!