car accident insurance claim | There are steps that you can take to ensure everyone is safe and comply with the law when you’re in a car accident.
The Insurance Information Institute suggests the following steps to help you make important decisions if you have been involved in a car accident.
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Verify that you are not in any way injured | car accident insurance claim
Call 911 if you are injured. Or ask someone to call 911 for you. If you are seriously injured, please do not move and wait for emergency personnel.
Make sure your passengers are well taken care of | car accident insurance claim
You can check on your passengers if you are not too injured to move. If someone is hurt, call emergency services immediately or ask a passerby to help.
Safety is your goal | car accident insurance claim
Move to the sidewalk or side of the road if you are able. If your car is unsafe to drive or is causing danger, you can pull it over to the side. If it’s unsafe to drive, you can leave it there and walk to safety.
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Call 911 | car accident insurance claim
Calling the police is essential, regardless of whether an accident is a minor Fender-bender collision or a major one. In some states it is legally required. The officers will complete an accident report and record the scene. According to the III, if the police are unable to arrive at the scene of an accident, they will complete a report at the nearest station. To assist with the claims process, your insurer may request a copy the police report.
Wait for help | car accident insurance claim
Turn off your engine and turn on your hazard light. Use the road flares from your emergency vehicle kit in order to signal other cars to slow down.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau warns that bandit tow trucks are also to be avoided. These tow truck drivers are not the ones you called but who stop by and offer their assistance. This could be a scam. They may try to convince victims to tow their cars to shady facilities, where they will hold the vehicle hostage and demand an unreasonable amount of money.
Information exchange | car accident insurance claim
After ensuring that you and your passengers are safe, it’s time to exchange contact information and insurance information with another driver. The III lists the most important information that drivers need to exchange following an accident.
- Contact information and full name
- Number of the policy and insurance company
- Number of the license plate and driver’s license
- Type, color, and model
- Accident location
The III suggests that you refrain from discussing fault with other drivers when you are going over the facts. The adjuster who reviews your insurance claim will determine the fault of the driver. This is based on the inspection of the damaged vehicles and other information. You and other victims are also asked for any supporting documentation such as photographs or a police report.
Take photos of the accident | car accident insurance claim
The III recommends the following steps to protect yourself:
Identify the officers. Get the names and badge numbers of all officers responding to your call.
Request a copy. Ask police officers where you can get a copy. When you file a claim for car insurance, your insurer might ask for a copy.
Take photos. Document the incident thoroughly. Take pictures from all angles of your vehicle to show the damage caused. You might also want to photograph the license plates of the other vehicle. To support your claim, you may be able to exchange photos with your insurance .
List names. Record names and addresses for all involved parties, including passengers in the other vehicle.
Get to know witnesses. Take down names and contact information of witnesses.
This accident page can be kept in your vehicle to help you keep all the documentation organized.
Notify your insurance company and begin the claims process | car accident insurance claim
If you have an insurance provider, it is worth calling them while you are on the scene. You can also report your claim via their mobile app. This will allow them to tell you what they need in order to process your claim. It also gives you an idea of what to expect during the claims process. Your insurer will arrange for your vehicle to be town directly to a -certified body shop if it is damaged.
Even the most experienced driver can be left confused by an accident. However, these steps will help you avoid unnecessary worry. This will allow you to focus on your insurance company and get your vehicle fixed as quickly and smoothly as possible.
What happens when I file a claim with my insurance company
When you file an Auto Insurance claim , the insurance company will require the information above. You will likely be assigned an adjuster to examine your vehicle and determine the extent of damage. This will help you to determine the fault in the accident as well as the repair costs.
Depending on the coverage you have, you might be eligible for reimbursement for repairs or for actual cash value of your vehicle if it is totaled.
If necessary, notify the DMV
Each state has its own requirements regarding reporting accidents to DMV. The criteria may include the extent of damage, injuries sustained and costs incurred. For guidelines regarding reporting an accident, please consult your local DMV.
Car accident FAQs
What happens if I am involved in an accident that results in me needing insurance?
You can purchase insurance and change auto insurance companies at any time. However, you can’t buy insurance to pay for the repairs costs after an accident.
What should you do after an accident?
You should follow the above steps and file a claim with insurance. Even if it is your fault, the legal liability will not be established until the investigation by an insurance adjuster. You may be eligible for repairs regardless of fault if you have collision and comprehensive insurance.
What should you do if an accident happens that isn’t your fault?
Even if the accident was not your fault, your insurance company may still need to pay your claim. Depending on where you live, your insurance company could be responsible for repairs if the other driver is found to be at fault. There are states that both insurance companies would be liable regardless of fault. Check with your insurance company to determine if your state is a no fault state.
Remember, even if it seems you are not to blame, legal liability can only be determined after an investigation.
What does an insurance company do to assess vehicle damage?
The cost of repairing your vehicle will be determined by insurance companies. You may be reimbursed, depending on the coverage you have.
Your vehicle could be declared total if the repair costs are prohibitive. You could then be reimbursed the current market value for your vehicle, but that depends on your policy.