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What Should You Do If You Ever Get Into An Auto Accident?

If your one of the lucky ones who has yet to be in an accident, you should count your blessings. However, being in the know is still a good thing when you haven’t a clue on what to do.

After all these years of driving (30 plus years or so), I hadn’t had an accident on my driving record yet. Well, until now. The year of 2014 was my year Two Weeksof accidents. I had just purchased a brand new SUV, a nice pearl color. My wife picked it out, just so you know. I loved the feeling of my brand new car, the smell and all, and it had lasted all of two weeks. Yep! Two weeks, my friends!

My first accident was at a STOP sign. After I stopped, I proceeded out into a busy intersection, but I needed to brake abruptly due to some idiot that was driving too fast across my path. That’s when it happened. I had gotten rear-ended. Not a bad impact, but a “BUMP”. I breathed out a sigh and prayed that the damage wasn’t too bad. So I pulled into the closest parking lot, hoping the car behind me would follow. However, I was ready to take down the license number had it not followed me there. When we both got out of our cars and I saw that the other driver was a young girl who was obviously very nervous. She was profusely apologetic and very close to tears. Oh, boy! She told me all of her day’s mishaps only leading me to feeling sorrier for her than myself and my new car. But, when we finally got around to inspecting the damages, the only thing I noticed was that the bumper had come loose on mine and that it was an easy fix. I did take her information in case there was damage that I hadn’t noticed at the time, along with some pictures of her license and both cars where the impact was. She insisted she could pay cash if I did find anything wrong and I told her I would call if anything showed up.

That was a pretty easy example of what to do. But, that was only accident number one.

Hit MeI won’t bore you with the details of the next two accidents, but I will tell you this. I was seriously considering that my SUV had an embedded bulls-eye on the rear trunk lift. I even looked to be sure there wasn’t a “Hit Me” sign scribbled in invisible marker somewhere that can only be seen when the car was in drive. But, I was fortunate that the other vehicles who had hit me were smaller and did little or no damage to mine like the first incident and with the same outcome.  

My last and most recent accident, however, I was not that fortunate. This one occurred when my wife and I were in Newport and I was stopped at a traffic light this time, when I got SLAMMED!, not bumped like before, from behind. I didn’t sigh for I was infuriated that this black BMW could not see that I was imagesTOF1AYZ1obviously stopped at a red light! WOW!! Are you kidding me?!? When the woman driver exited her car she started to apologized, but I interrupted her when I saw what she holding in her hand. A cellphone. Right then, I knew exactly what it was that occupied her attention when she hit me. As I looked at the damage that she had done to both our cars, I knew that I needed to be very precise on the information I gathered from her in order for me to be reimbursed and to prove that she was clearly at fault. The repair bill was going to be a doozy!

This is what I did.

  • Took pictures of the scene of the accident with both cars as they were.
    • If this can be done safely and without interference to the traffic flow or putting yourself at risk for being hit again (i.e. middle of a highway or freeway), you should stay where the impact occurred.
  • Took pictures of the damage done to BOTH cars.
    • Don’t skimp on this for this will prove who had hit whom.
  • Took a picture of the license plate of the car.
    • This will help trace down the vehicle and the responsible party in the event the driver’s license indicates a different address.
  • Took a picture of driver’s license of the driver.
    • This will give you a picture of the driver and hopefully the correct address. Make a point of confirming that the picture on the license and the driver is the same. This will help avoid any errors when obtaining the important information.
  • Took a picture of the car’s registration.
  • Gathered insurance or insurance agent information. Take a picture of an insurance card, if possible. This will have contact information on it as well.
    • Just so you know, she had the lizard guy and they were not fun or fair to deal with at all.
  • Immediately following the accident on the next business day, I contacted the Claims Department of the insurance company.
    • The reason for contacting an insurance carrier’s claim department directly is that it eliminates the waiting and Q&A process. That way your vehicle can be repaired as soon as possible.

This is what I didn’t do and should have done. 

I had all the proof I needed, right? Nope. If I had contacted the local authorities it could have saved me a ton of aggravation with dealings and settlement from the other driver’s claims department in the end. So, learn from my mistake.

  • Don’t hesitate to contact the local police.
    • They will log and date the time of the scene of the accident, take a statement from both parties as well as witnesses. NOTE: No one can lie when there is witnesses. The police will also put in the report their determination of who was at fault. This makes settling insurance disputes a piece of cake. It usually won’t go to arbitration when there is a report clearly stating which party was at fault. Just so you know, this is one of reasons why insurance rates go up globally for you and me is because of the cost of unnecessary arbitration between companies. You can thank the girl who rear-ended me and the company that insured her. Yay!  

Hopefully you will not need any of this information that I have shared with you here. But, if and when you do, it has taking some of the concern out of what you should do when you’ve gotten into that accident. Whether you are at fault or it was the other driver, this is why we have auto insurance for our cars for when these accidents happen. In the meantime, drive responsibly.

Here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency our goal is to try to help our viewers by suggesting solutions for many different situations. By no means can we address each reader’s specific concerns in every incident. We strongly advise you to check with a representative that can address your specific needs. However, you can contact us for any insurance questions or concerns and we will be happy to help you. We offer a very competitive line of auto insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance and commercial insurance for all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire residents and businesses.

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College Bound: Your Son or Daughter Has Arrived, Now What?

You’ve just dropped off your young adult at his or her new home away from home for the next 9 months. Unfortunately, the hard part is not quite over because in the next few weeks both you and your son or daughter will be going through a time of transitioning. But rest assured it will get easier as time goes on. Here are a few tips as you go through these new experiences and changes.

Talking with college studentThe top priority is to communicate trust with your son or daughter. You’ve done your job bringing up your children, now it’s time to see that what you’ve instilled in them, that they will make good choices on their own. Talk to him or her about your values and your expectations. Make it clear that the lines of communication are wide open regardless of the miles between you and whatever challenges that may come, that you are there for him or her to talk when you are needed. [Read more...]

New Jetski? Know The Rules of The Water Before You Ride!


Now that you finally own your own jetski or PWC (Personal Water Craft), there is so much that you need to know before you get in the water to ride. It’s just like driving a vehicle on the road because there are rules and signs that need to be obeyed, even in the water.  However, operating a PWC is different from driving a car or a motorcycle for there are no lanes or lines on the water to guide you on where and how to go. That is why knowing the basic rules of the road and the navigational aids are so important.

Let’s give you some basic skills to get you started.

[Read more...]

Early May Is the Perfect Time for Getting The Boat Ready For Summer


There is so much to do in the month of May around the house and yard that it could keep a person busy well into June. But, be sure to put the watercraft on that list as well, so when the warmer weather comes around there isn’t a problem that is discovered and the boat ends up out of commission for the entire summer. Some marinas will offer a commissioning service to check a boat’s systems and get it ready for the water. But if you feel comfortable doing it yourself, it should only take a few hours of your time and save you quite a bit of money.

Here is a list of things that should be checked:

Battery, starter & alternator console1_550

  • Always make sure batteries are fully charged and load tested. Defective and/or
    inadequate batteries are one of the most common causes of problems in marine electrical systems.
  • Be sure all connections and terminals are tight and clean. Also, battery cable terminals need to be tight and should have a gap between the top of the terminal and the side of the clamp.
  • Remember to always tag wiring when removing any electrical unit. Also, feel the lines for soft spots. Soft spots usually indicate the wire is corroded and needs to be replaced.
  • Be sure to check for voltage drops. Low voltage will ruin your electrical components and shorten the life of a battery. Using the panel voltmeter, the reading should be around 12 with the ignition on, not running, and no other loads.

Fuels, oils & other fluids untitled

  • Refer to the boat’s manufacturer manual for recommended intervals for changing the fluids. This important step will keep it running in tip top condition.
  • When changing the oil system, disable the bilge pump in case of a spill. Use an oil-only absorbent pad under the engine and in the bilge.
  • Use a plastic bag around the filter before removing to catch drips.
  • Lubricate “O” rings and prime the filter as necessary.
  • Top off the fluids, wipe up any spills and reconnect the bilge pump.

Canvas imagesCADJQGYK

  • Check all the zippers & snaps for wear, tear and corrosion. Replace any that are starting to fray or corrode by a canvas repair shop or a do-it-yourself kit.
  • Reinforce the snaps that are located on the hull of the boat. Tighten any loosen snaps or replace them if they are too badly corroded or cannot be tightened. Be sure to use epoxy or a silicone sealant for a water tight seal.

Seals, impellers, hoses, hose clamps, and gaskets untitled

  • All these items need to be checked thoroughly for deterioration, peeling or rusting.
  • Seals can be reinforced with an epoxy putty or silicone sealant.
  • Impellers need to be replaced when they start to fray. Remove the impeller and check thoroughly for any wear.
  • Check the tightness of all the hoses and the clamps. Replace any clamps that are starting to rust. Water, especially salt water, is very corrosive to metal.

Propeller and bilge pump. untitled

  • Any damage such as dings, pitting or distortion should be either fixed by a professional repair shop, or depending on the amount of damage, replaced.
  • Use a garden hose to add water and some bilge cleaner into the bilge. The pump should kick on by itself and keep up with the constant flow of water coming from the hose. Continue this about 4 or 5 times to cycle the pump.

Once all the systems are checked, you will have ample time to address any repairs or replacements that are needed before summer rolls in. By that time, you will be able to enjoy the ride and the fishing…. imagesCA5V1R6J

Here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency our goal is to try to help our viewers by suggesting solutions about different topics of interest, as well as insurance needs. But, by no means can we address each reader’s specific concerns. So, we strongly advise to check with an expert on the subject area discussed to address your specific needs. However, you can always contact us for any insurance questions or concerns you may have and we will be happy to help you. We are able to offer a complete line of auto insurance, homeowners insurance and marine insurance products for all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

Be Your Own House Crasher With These Simple Home Improvements


All it takes is small improvements to make a world of difference in the look and feel of your home.

With spring here and the snow finally gone, it is a perfect time to start making plans for your all the DIY jobs that you want to tackle in these next few months. Consider starting with the basic maintenance of your home, that way you will know which improvements are a priority. Here’s a list of ideas of where to start.

        gutter    Gutters – This is the easiest and the usually the least expensive task. Simply cleaning them up and removing any debris is all that is needed. Make sure all the drainage areas are unblocked and the downspouts are clean and pointing 2 – 2 ½ feet away from your foundation. This can help avoid any water from entering the home and causing damage.

          Roof  Roof – Check your roof thoroughly for any missing or upturned shingles, for this can eventually cause leaks and therefore damage throughout your home. So, take extra time to see if any shingles are lifting.  If your roof is in good shape with the exception of a few shingles, here is a helpful DIY link on how to replace them.  Otherwise, if there is considerable lifting in large areas, you will need to contact a roofing contractor for further assistance. [Read more...]