Whether we are prepared or not, an auto accident can happen when we least expect it.
Being involved in an auto accident can be painful, frightening, and
the claims process can be time consuming if you’re unaware of what you should do after an
accident. Your insurer would like a speedy claims process just as much as you do. As your agent,
we’d like to equip you with the following tips and tricks to guarantee an efficient claims
Remain at the Accident Scene
The most important thing is to stay calm. Wait until the police inform you that they have all the information
that they need. You wouldn’t want to miss anything, or worse, your departure resulting in violations or criminal charges.
If the police feel that the damage is not sufficient, you will be responsible for filling the accident report. Stay as accurate as
possible to ensure there is no discrepancies with your report. Sometimes an accident is bad to the point where the cars can't be
moved out of traffic. In that case, turn emergency lights on to let others drivers be aware.
Collect Essential Information
After any auto accident, you should acquire the following information:
FROM THE OTHER PARTY:
* Their name, address, driver’s license number, policy number, a phone number to file claims at with the insurance company,
make and model of their vehicle, and their license plate number including the state it belongs to. Most of this information
can be found on their insurance card.
FROM ANY WITNESSES THAT WANT TO TESTIFY:
* Their name, address, and telephone number. Be sure you give this information to your adjuster as
soon as your claim is assigned to one.
FROM THE POLICE:
* Request a business card and an “incident number” from the officers who respond to your accident.
AT THE LOCATION OF THE ACCIDENT:
* Take notes, or photos, of where the accident happened. Include the road condition, speed limit, and traffic conditions.
You will also need to indicate time of day as well as weather conditions.
OF THE ACCIDENT:
* Take notes on the direction of travel (i.e. I was traveling East on Main Street) and how both cars were
being operated at the time of the accident (i.e. I was stopped, waiting to turn left onto Smith Drive
and the other driver was turning off of Smith Dr onto Main Street). If your claim goes into litigation,
these notes will become evidence during those proceedings.
IF YOU SUSTAIN INJURIES:
* Accept onsite medical treatment from paramedics or visit your doctor as soon as possible. Taking
chances with your health can cost you. Always let a professional evaluate whether or not
you’ve been injured in an accident. Not everything can be chalked up to a stiff back, or “just a little achy”.
These can be indications of a serious injury that will require treatment down the road. Without a diagnosis from
a medical professional immediately following the accident, which indicates you were injured during
the collision, these damages will have to be covered out of pocket if they become worse.