What to do after a car accident
Whether a minor fender bender or a more serious collision, car accidents are stressful. Here are a few tips on what to do after a collision and during the claims process.
Immediately After a Car Accident
• Confirm that anyone involved in the accident is safe. Check on yourself, your passengers and the passengers in the other vehicle. If anyone requires medical attention, dial 911.
• Get to a safe place if you’re able to. If your car is safe to drive, pull it to the side of the road, turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights.
• Notify the police and file a police report. A police report will ensure that everything is documented correctly and will be invaluable to the claims process. Be sure to confirm which police department assisted and ask for an accident report number.
• Exchange contact and insurance information. Note their full name, phone number, insurance information and license plate number, along with the location, date and time. You should not share license numbers, as it potentially could be used for identity theft.
• Take pictures of the accident scene, including photos of all vehicles involved (from every angle) and any hazards, skid marks or damage to the scene. • If your vehicle gets towed, note the name, address and phone number of the tower. Filing Your Insurance Claim
• It’s important to file your claim as soon as possible. Not notifying your insurance company in a timely manner might leave you liable for damages or extra costs, like storage fees.
• You’ll be asked to provide information about the accident, including any contact information you collected, photos of vehicle damage and a copy of the accident report.
• An appraiser may be sent to examine your car, document any damage and provide an initial estimate of how much repairs will cost. • If your car needs repairs, your insurance company may pay the shop directly at your direction or send you the payment to handle the bill yourself.