Even if you think you’re a careful and seasoned driver, accidents can still happen, whether you’re at fault or not. You might be too stressed or frazzled to think clearly after the collision, but you need to gather your wits and make rational decisions, so it’s easier to file for a car insurance claim later on.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind if you get involved in a car accident:
Do not move your vehicle anywhere. You must leave your vehicle as-is. Do not immediately jump out of your vehicle without first making sure your car is no longer moving and then turn off the engine and shift into park. Take a moment to calm down and think sensible. Before getting out of the vehicle, check to make sure it’s safe to get out before you open the door. and walk to safety.
2. Check yourself and others for injuries
Make sure you are not injured and then check on all the other people involved in the accident, drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and pets to make sure no one is hurt. Call an ambulance or 911 right away to seek medical help.
3. Call the police and report the accident
The police should be notified and called to the scene even in minor accidents. Cooperate fully, and stay calm and don’t point fingers. Let the police investigate. Whether you are at fault or not, it is essential that you keep your composure and try to think straight.
4. It’s also essential to talk to the other driver
Try to exchange pertinent information in the accident aftermath. Like names, address, contact details, plate number, make and models of all vehicles involved, name of the insurer and witness information (names and numbers).
5. Make sure to snap photos of the accident
Most of us do not carry cameras with us, we rely on using our cellphone or smartphone for taking pictures. So if you happen to have one with a camera, snap photos of the accident scene from different angles. They will surely come in handy during the claim process.
6. When the police arrive on the scene
Once the police arrive, they will investigate the accident and create an accident report. Get the names of the officers and ask how you can get a copy of the report. You will need it when you file your insurance claim.
7. Call your insurance agent
Call your insurance agent and inform them of the accident. They will give you further instructions on what you need to do to start the claim process.
How to make an insurance claim
It is essential to report the incident right away to your car insurance company within 24 hours. They will need all the pertinent information of the accident, and you may need to submit yourself to a medical examination.
What info. do I need when filing a claim
Hopefully, you were able to get the following info at the accident scene to make the claims process go a little smoother:
- Names of all drivers involved
- Address of drivers involved
- Contact details (Phone Numbers)
- License plate number, year, make, and model of all vehicles involved Name of the insurer
- Witness information (names and numbers)
- Photos of scene and damage
- The names of the officers on the scene
- A police report
Remember that until all the facts are presented, we strongly encourage you not to apologize or admit fault at the accident scene or while talking to the insurance provider. Just tell the facts as you know them.
A claims adjuster will negotiate the insurance settlement on your behalf. If everything falls smoothly, the insurer should be able to furnish you a settlement check. If you believe the amount is not sufficient, you can appeal to the insurance company. You’ll need to provide additional evidence, and the company will look into the settlement again.
An auto accident is never a pleasing experience, so it pays to drive very carefully. If you weren’t happy with how the insurance company handled your case, speak with your agent about your complaints or start shopping around for insurers that provide smoother claims process.