Even if you think you’re a careful and seasoned driver, accidents can still happen, whether you’re at fault or not. You might be too stressed or frazzled to think currently after the collision, but you need to gather your wits and make rational decisions, so it’s easier to file for a car insurance claim later on.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind if you get involved in a car accident:
- Check yourself and others for injuries. Call an ambulance or 911 right away to seek medical help.
- Call the police and report the accident. While you wait, try to get out of the car and walk to safety. While you wait, make sure to snap photos of the accident from different angles. It’s also essential to talk to the other party and exchange pertinent information, like name, address, contact details, plate number, and name of the insurer.
- Once the police arrive, they will investigate the accident and create an accident report. Get the names of the officers and ask how you can get a copy of the report. You will need it when you file for insurance claims.
- Stay calm and don’t point fingers. Let the authorities investigate. Whether you’re at fault or not, it is essential that you keep your composure and try to think straight.
- Call your insurance agent and inform him of the accident. He will give you further instructions on what you need to start the claim process.
How to make an insurance claim
It is essential to report the incident right away to your car insurance company within 24 hours. They will need all the pertinent information of the accident, and you may need to submit yourself to a medical examination.
A claim adjuster will negotiate the insurance settlement on your behalf. If everything falls smoothly, the insurer should be able to furnish you a settlement check. If you believe the amount is not sufficient, you can appeal to the insurance company. You’ll need to provide additional evidence, and the company will look into the settlement again.
An auto accident is never a pleasing experience, so it pays to drive very carefully. If you weren’t happy with how the insurance company handled your case, speak with your agent and start shopping around for insurers that provide smoother claims process.