Do You Know What the Most Important Document After a Car Accident Is?

If you had to guess what the most important document was after a car accident, what would you say? If you’re like many people, you’d think it was the police report. Or perhaps the piece of paper with the license number and insurance information of the other parties involved in the accident. It’s actually none of these things, and is instead likely something you have filed away and haven’t looked at in years. It is the declarations page on your car insurance policy, otherwise known as the Dec page.

How to get your declaration page after a California car accident

This declaration page is just a single page that summarizes all your coverage. It uses acronyms and legalese that you likely don’t understands. Yes, it looks boring and it isn’t something you likely read at the time of signing your policy, yet it can make or break your entire car accident personal injury case. Many people assume they don’t need this if they weren’t at fault, but it actually has nothing to do with fault.

If you don’t know exactly where it is, don’t worry. The easiest way to get it is to contact your car insurance agent and ask them for a copy of your ‘dec’ page. They can email it or fax it – no matter how you get it, make sure you bring it to your personal injury attorney.

The importance of your declarations page

There are many things we can learn from looking at your declarations page. First, we’ll see if you’re going to have any unpaid medical bills. Your dec page will have a little box that says, “med pay.” This is the shorthand way to say you have medical payment coverage. In most cases, it’s about $5,000. If you do have this coverage, then you can choose who treats you and they can bill your insurance provider directly.

The next thing we can see from your dec page is whether or not your claim is going to succeed even if the other party doesn’t have enough insurance. Of course, California law is clear that if you’re driving, then you need insurance – but this isn’t always the case. Just because a driver gives you an insurance card doesn’t mean that they haven’t had that policy canceled.

Once again, your dec page may help here. If you have a box checked next to “um” then you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage. There should be two numbers next to – common combinations are 15/30, 50/100 and 100/300. Multiply those numbers by one thousand and you’ll find out how much coverage you have – even if the person you were involved in an accident with didn’t have coverage. The first number is for a single person and the second number is the maximum paid out in total.

If you’ve been involved in an accident and don’t know what to do, then you’re in luck: Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas is here to help. Call us at 909-982-0707 for a free case evaluation.