Getting into a car accident is every driver’s nightmare. The majority of individuals utilize cars as their main form of transportation to and from work, school, the grocery store, long road trips, and other daily activities. However, the more time spent on the road, the more likely you are to eventually find yourself in a car accident.
Whether serious or minor, car accidents are incredibly stressful and often difficult to navigate in the moment. Your adrenaline may be running, you may need to make a few phone calls to family members, and you will need to determine whether or not your car is drivable. It may be difficult to determine the proper steps to take with your insurance company, so we have provided a few items to accomplish if you are in a car accident.
What to Do If You Get into a Car Accident
These steps should be completed after checking yourself and your passenger(s) for injuries, moving your car to a safe space on the side of the road if possible, and calling 911 for assistance.
#1 Exchange Information
If other drivers are involved in the accident, it is important to exchange contact information with the other individual(s). Be sure to gather the full name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license number, license plate number, the make/model of their vehicle, and the location where the accident occurred.
During this exchange, ensure that you do not admit fault for the incident. Fault will be determined by the insurance provider, based on the information provided by the drivers, damage caused to the vehicles and the surrounding area, and any documentation provided by the police officers on the scene.
#2 Document the Accident
While at the scene of the accident, it is important for you to gather documentation. It may be tempting to just provide the details requested by police, but you will need a record of details to report to your insurance provider as well.
First, gather the names and badge numbers of all police officers on the scene. Next, ask the officers how you can obtain a copy of the accident report to give to your insurance provider. Third, take photos of both vehicles from all sides and the scene and surroundings of the accident, ensuring that you capture all resulting damage. Fourth, write down the names and addresses of all parties involved, including passengers in the other vehicle and witnesses who saw the accident occur.
#3 Begin the Claims Process
While at the scene of the accident, you may begin submitting a claim with your insurance provider, either through their mobile app or by calling the provider directly. This is more efficient than calling the provider after leaving the accident, since the provider will likely ask for detailed information that you may not remember after the fact.
They will also provide you with general expectations for the claims process. If your vehicle cannot be driven after the accident, your insurance company will assist you in having the vehicle towed to an auto-mechanic shop.
#4 Keep Records
Finally, it is important to keep all accident-related documents in a single location. This will be helpful in case you need to refer back to the documents in the future. This file should include:
- Claim number
- Adjuster who is handling the claim
- Contact information for all involved parties
- Rental car receipts and all other related expense receipts
Do You Need Auto Insurance Assistance?
Have you been in a vehicle incident recently, or are you looking for auto coverage? At GWK Insurance, our licensed agents are prepared to help you. We understand the stressful nature of car accidents and are ready to guide you through the claims process. Contact us for more information, whether online, in person, or over the phone.