Car accidents in Mexico – Be prepared

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accident 1397Well, it finally happened. I was in a car accident the other day where I was driving which was very unfortunate. I thought I would do a quick post here to let people know what to expect if they are ever in a car accident and maybe some helpful tips. This is our second time in 3 years dealing with insurance adjusters, the previous accident had someone hitting our car in a parking lot while we were in the Mayan Museum. This time, I was driving with 3 kids in the back – much different experience.

Most importanly, if you are on a secondary road and crossing a primary road you are at fault. It does not matter how fast the driver of the other vehicle is going. If you are sticking out a little bit too far as you are busy looking both ways to see which way a vehicle may be coming on the one way road, and they hit you because they are going way to fast to avoid you by moving over – it is your fault.

This accident was definitely unfortunate and we are glad that everyone was ok. The other driver was very considerate, even more so when our friends arrived to translate and to help and discovered that they all knew each other. The police were very professional and I did not have any issues with them – a little confused over who had my documents – but really good. Their first concern was the well being of everyone and then waiting for the insurance adjustor to arrive and settle. My understanding is that if you are uninsured or cannot reach a settlement, you will be taken to the local jail to await for a settlement. HDI, our insurance broker, was very professional in dealing with both parties involved and a resolution was quickly reached at which time the police departed.

Be PREPARED:

Make sure you have everything you might need in your vehicle. I say ‘copies’ because I was asked by several different police officers for each of the following. Thankfully, I had just reviewed all these documents on the Saturday before the accident and to ensure that they were all there. When I was looking for them, I discovered that all our paperwork was actually in the folder in the house and not in the van…this would have been a disaster had an accident happened.

  1. Have your phone in all vehicles at all times — I could not imagine if I did not have a phone with minutes available on it… that would have been a very different experience than I had.
  2. Phone numbers for emergencies: Insurance Agent, Broker, Translator, etc.
  3. Copies of active insurance
  4. Copies of Drivers Licence (Mexican preferred)
  5. Copies of any paperwork needed for the registration of your vehicle, importation
  6. Things to have just in case but I was not asked for
    • Copies of Immigration Visa
    • Copies of Passports

Immediately after an accident occurs:

  1. Call your insurance agent. Make sure you have their number handy and in your phone so that you do not have to phone somebody else to get the phone number from… thank you Ellyne for getting me Julieta’s number so quickly.
  2. If your agent is unable to call your insurance broker, call them immediately. Again make sure this phone number is in your phone… Thank you again to Julietta for calling the broker so quickly for me.
  3. If you will need someone to translate, call them NOW! The quicker they arrive the better as it is very stressful if you cannot understand what everyone is saying. Thank you to Landy, Francisco, Edgar, Rafael, Joaquin for arriving so quickly to help me out!
  4. At this point you will probably need to talk to the other driver and let them know your insurance adjustor is on the way.
  5. Do NOT offer to pay, Do NOT accept money. Quite often people will want to deal with you quickly before the police arrive. You are wanting your insurance person there as quickly as possible to negotiate with the other party and to keep the police happy.
  6. Once the police do arrive you will need to give them documentation they require. I was asked multiple times from different people for my information… try to get the name of the person you give it to so that you can tell the next officer who has it.
  7. If you are at all confused about what is happening, ask to be taken to the hospital. This is a much nicer place than going to the police station.
  8. If you are not hurt but are not sure, make sure you get a Medical Pass from your insurance adjustor so that you can go to the hospital if needed and still be covered.
  9. The police may get tired of waiting at the accident scene and suggest moving to the Police Station. At this point I would try my best to contact the adjuster and see how much longer he will be. Then convince the police to wait just a little bit longer.
  10. Once the insurance adjustor arrives, describe the accident to them, and present your paperwork.
  11. You will need to write out a statement for the insurance adjuster and then sign a form for the police saying that everything has been accepted.
  12. You will probably be given the option of having your car towed or driving it yourself… towed was the answer here and so we emptied everything from the car to our friends vehicle.
  13. Finally, you will be given a number to call for the autobody shop… good luck!

I know this list may not have everything in it, but it will definitely help you be prepared for what might happen at an accident.

If you are looking for a great insurance agent in this area, I would once again recommend Julieta!

Contact Information:

Agente Julieta Morales Vera
Email: julieta.morales@segurosmerida.com
Telcel: 9991 63 35 61
Iusacel: 9999 49 31 32

Seguros Mérida – Oficina
Calle 72A No. 489 x 17 Col. Garcia Gineres
C.P. 97070 Mérida, Yucatán, México
Email: contacto@segurosmerida.com
Oficina: (999) 285 72 82

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