A car wreck can leave people in shock and unsure about what to do. You may be hurt. Your vehicle has been damaged. The other driver may even claim that the accident was your fault when it was not. It can be a difficult and confusing time. Below is a quick summary of things to consider following a crash to adequately document the crash and initiate the insurance claim process.
First, contact the police immediately after the crash. The police department will arrive to the scene of the crash, interview the individuals involved including witnesses, take photographs, record property damage, and determine fault. The police will also collect the other driver’s insurance information or document if the other driver has no insurance. These are all very important steps for documenting the crash and collecting critical evidence. Sometimes, if the weather is poor, the crash is relatively minor and no serious injuries reported, the police will not show up. If that’s the case, make sure you take photographs of the cars and your injuries, and obtain witness information, the other driver’s name, insurance information, driver’s license number, and license plate. Use this information to file a police report with the local police department to document the crash and provide to the involved insurance companies. Most police departments allow you to efficiently file a report using an online portal.
Next, report the accident to your automobile insurance company. Explain to the insurance company what happened and provide the case number from the police department. This will allow your insurance company to investigate and collect the necessary information regarding the accident. Your insurance company should also work with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance. You should also ask your insurance company about the insurance coverage available which includes medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
If you were injured in the accident, you should contact attorneys to help you with the claim process against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Certainly, do not sign anything from the at-fault driver’s insurance or settle quickly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company following a crash without consulting with an attorney.