Broken Window Car

What to do after you’ve been involved in an accident

Dealing with an auto accident or catastrophe can be very stressful, but it is important to keep calm and stay focused.

1. Safety: Check for the safety of yourself and of your passengers. If anyone is injured, make sure to dial 9-1-1 right away for medical help.

If the accident is minor, turn on your hazard lights and try to move the cars out of the way to a safe place, as far away from traffic as possible.

If you have cones, flares, or any other safety items, make sure you utilize them at this time to warn other drivers.

2. Get Help: Call the police even if the accident is minor.

Sometimes a police report can help aid during the claims process to establish who is at fault. In some areas, police authorities may respond to every accident scene. They may consider factors such as the severity and location of the accident (some police authorities will not come to the scene if the accident is on private property).

3. Collect Information: Gather the license, registration, and insurance information from the other driver(s).

If the owner of a damaged car or damaged property cannot be located, leave a note with the names and addresses of the driver and owners of the involved cars.

Driver: name, driver license number, address, contact information

Witnesses: names, contact information

Insurance: insurance company, insurance policy number

Vehicle: license plate number, VIN, year, make, model

Photos: Take photos of the vehicles if it is safe to do so. Take a photo of their license(s), registration, insurance income, license plate, and VIN (if possible). If possible, take photos of nearby road signs, notable landmarks, visual obstacles, etc.

Accident Info: Document the date, time, and location of the collision.

Police: Document the officer name, badge number, and request a copy of the police report

4. Drive Away: If your vehicle is inoperable, call to get roadside assistance.

If you have roadside assistance coverage on your insurance policy, you can call the roadside assistance number listed on your insurance ID card.

5. File A Claim: Once thins are calm, call your insurance company or agent to file a claim as soon as possible.

Calling your insurance company will enable you to process the claims process immediately.

If possible, sketch the location and conditions of the accident and write down in bullet points the activities leading up to the accident. Have all of your information and notes from the accident ready for the claims intake personnel.

After starting the claim, take note of your assigned adjuster’s name and contact information. E-mail documents (if requested) to your insurance company. Depdending on the caseload of the adjusters, they will need to contact you within a certain amount of time. If you find that you are having a hard time reaching your adjuster, contact your insurance agent to get additional help.


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