Being involved in a car accident can be one of the most stressful – and even financially damaging – events in your life. Knowing what to do after a serious collision can help you get your insurance claim processed as quickly as possible and also help you get back on your feet sooner than later. While repairing your car and getting your health back on track can take some time, getting the compensation you deserve from the insurance company shouldn’t take longer than a few months – especially if you report the incident right away and provide the information the company needs to process the claim.
Here are five essential things you need to share with your insurance company after a car accident:
1. Details of the accident scene. Make a record of the time, day, and location of the accident and attach any pictures you were able to take right after it happened. Be as specific and detailed as possible about the incident so that the insurance company can easily verify facts found in the police report.
2. The other driver’s contact information. Make sure you take the time to get the other driver’s full name, address, phone number, insurance policy number, driver’s license number and information about the vehicle right after the incident. Your insurance company needs this information to verify what type of benefits you and the other driver are eligible for.
3. Accident report information. The police report can take several weeks to draft so you might not have a copy available for your insurance company when you send in the claim form. What you will have is the report number and the contact information of the police officer who filed the report. Make sure you communicate this information accurately so the insurance company can pull up the report when they need to.
4. List of injuries. You need to be completely honest about the extent of your injuries and can even get a doctor’s letter to verify your health condition. Make a comprehensive list of all injuries and make sure to provide all information that a physician, chiropractor or other medical professional has provided related to your injury.
5. Extent of damages. Again, be very specific about what was damaged during the incident and make a note of both vehicle and non-vehicle damages. Pictures of the damaged property and vehicles can also help with making this list and give your insurance company some proof about the extent of damage. If the car was towed right away, get in touch with the mechanic as soon as you can for a complete listing and professional analysis of damages.
InsuranceRate.com – What to Do after an Accident
FindLaw – 11 Things to Do After a Car Accident
Edmunds.com – What to Do After a Car Accident