Rockford Police announced they will no longer be sending officers to cover the scene of an accident with no injuries. Here are some suggestions for how to handle it.

Getting in a car accident is never fun, no matter how minor.

Once everyone is safe, it's time to figure out the next step.

Up until now, you would call the police to help assess the situation.

Now in Rockford, if you get into a smaller fender bender and no one gets hurt, you are on your own.

If you're like me, you might not know what to do in this situation.

I asked my agent, Jeff Richter, from Farmer's Insurance if I could get some tips to share with you. He's been in the business for a long time, so I knew he could help.

Here's the advice he gave me.

  • "Always check the other vehicle for injuries and make sure that if an injury happens in any of the vehicles involved that you immediately call 911."
  • "Look for a potential witness to the accident. This may be a person on the sidewalk or in the parking lot or a vehicle near the scene. Just ask them for a name and number so your insurance company could contact them for a statement. Independent witnesses (those who were not passengers) are a valuable resource."
  • "If it is safe and before you move them, take pictures of the vehicles, the damage and how they are situated after the accident. Of course, if it is not safe please move the vehicles as soon as possible."
  • "Gather the insurance information of the other driver. Even if the police are responding this is an important step since in some cases we do not have access to the police report for potentially up to a few days. This could delay the reporting of the claim to another insurance company. We find the easiest way to do this is to take pictures with your phone of their insurance, drivers license, and license plate."
  • "If at any point you feel threatened by the other driver then go back to your car and call 911 and report that you feel as though you are in a threatening situation and the police should respond even if it is in a parking lot or on private property."
  • "If you have any questions about what to do, call your agent."
  • "Making sure you take the right thing will help you out in the long run. Especially, if the other person decides to give you a hard time or change their story."

Hopefully, you won't have to worry about it.


 

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