Having an accident is no joke. There are many accidents each year and sadly many die because they were in a collision. It is important for all drivers to understand just what they need to do if they have been involved in an accident large or small.
The first thing to do is remain at the scene of the accident. Call the police as they will need to make a report of what happened. If you have a camera phone on you and you’re okay then consider taking some pictures. The police will do this as well so it is important to have enough evidence for your auto insurance claim. Exchange insurance info and ask everyone involved in the accident for their information such as license plate number, driver’s license number, name, address and telephone number.
The second step is to get checked out by an EMT to make sure you’re okay. Many accident victims even those with minor injuries refuse to get medical treatment only to find out they have issues later. You could be okay one minute and then drop dead the next. Your medical bills could be an issue if it isn’t documented as an accident related injury.
The third step is to go home and call your car insurance agent or company. A claims representative is usually available 24 hours a day to talk to drivers and begin the claims process. Make sure to have your policy information readily available to help speed up the process.
The fourth step is to make a list of everything that happened. It is important to make notes while everything is fresh in your memory. Once this is done, you can provide an accurate and clear statement for the insurance adjuster handling your claim.
The fifth step is to give an official statement to your adjuster. Do this as soon as you can to begin the claims process. It’s best to report an accident sooner than later if possible as stories can change. Don’t just take the drivers word that they were at fault and will make it right.
The sixth step is to wait for the claims adjuster to begin to evaluate the claim. It usually takes about a week for a claims adjuster to get back to a driver about a claim. Be patient, especially if the car accident was serious. The adjuster will need to determine who was at fault and that can take a while in some situations. They generally try to recover your deductible if you were not at fault. Once the claim has been completed, a driver will receive their compensation check if the insurer feels that they are entitled to one. Once the check is cashed and no appeal is requested the claim is closed.
Always keep your auto insurance cab cards in your vehicle and up to date.
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