In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a car accident, try to stay calm and check your occupants for any injuries or occupants of the other vehicle:
- If possible, contact the emergency services immediately. Police to secure the accident scene and ambulance to take any injured persons to the hospital.
- If minor accident, move the vehicles to the side of the road to avoid any additional dangerous situations (in some states it’s the law)
- Exchange information with the other driver (names, license numbers, phone numbers and insurance information – name of the insurance company and policy number)
- Take pictures of all vehicles involved in the accident or get detailed vehicle information like year, make, model and color of the vehicle (it will be useful when handling your claim)
- Collect information on any eyewitnesses of the accident (their names and phone numbers – the insurance company may want to talk to them about your accident)
- If it was a minor accident and the police won’t come out, just exchange information with the other driver, take pictures of involved vehicles and do a walk-in police report at the closest police station as soon as possible. Your insurance company will ask you for the case report number of the incident.
Do I call my insurance company after the accident?
After you have exchanged the information, contact your and the other party’s insurance company. Even if you are not at fault in the accident, let your insurance company know your recollection of events, sometimes your statements will not match the other party’s statement of the accident. Ultimately the police will make the decision after an investigation who was at fault in the accident. Sometimes both parties are at fault to a certain degree, maybe one driver was driving too fast while the other failed to yield. In that case the insurance companies will resolve which company will pay for the damages.
What if the accident happened in a private parking lot?
Parking lot accidents are usually minor in nature and the police does not come out to a private property to investigate an accident. In that situation make sure to exchange the information with the other driver and possibly take pictures of the accident scene, it may prove useful to determine who was at fault. Also complete a walk-in police report to document the details.
What if the other driver is refusing to exchange insurance information?
During most accidents the police will come out and collect information on all drivers involved and any eyewitnesses, which would be available to you in the full police report. It takes usually about a week for the complete police report to come out, which you can get from your local police station.
In accidents where the police do not come out to investigate the scene, you should exchange insurance information with the other driver. Unfortunately, you will sometimes come across of people refusing to give out their information for different reasons, perhaps they don’t have any insurance, their license is suspended but they are still driving or maybe they feel the accident was your fault and they only want your information. If that happens to you, make sure you document whatever you can, like the make and model of their vehicle, color of the vehicle, their license plate number and description of the driver. Take that information to the police station and file a police report of the incident. Also take the names of phone numbers of any eyewitnesses to the accident.
Contact your insurance company with that information as soon as possible and if you have a comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, your insurance company will pay for the damage on your vehicle and then try to collect the amount from the other party if they determine the accident was the other drivers fault.
What if the other driver gave me wrong information?
In accidents where the police are not involved, sometimes the other driver will give you the wrong information on purpose to avoid responsibility for the accident. If they don’t show you their ID or insurance information and just write down their details, assume the info is not correct and take details of the things you can see. Like mentioned earlier, note the make, model and color of their car, license plate number and description of the driver. If it does turn out their information is bogus, take the details you collected and file the police report and contact your insurance company. The information you collected will prove useful in tracking down the driver or at least the owner of that car.
Does My Insurance Cover Hit & Run Accidents? More info Here.
We at Bargain Insurance Connection hope you stay safe and accident free on the road, but if you do get into an accident, we are here to help you. For any additional information give us a call at 816.453.7722.