If you were in an accident yesterday, you are now ready to start the process of filing your claim. First, let’s look at some of the things that you hopefully did when the accident happened.
• Call the police for all accidents, even fender-benders. Note the police department involved, badge numbers and ask for the report number.
• Write down all important information. Note the location of the accident, other driver’s name, address, license plate and insurance information along with any admissions that may have been made. You should even note the road conditions and VIN of the other driver’s vehicle if at all possible.
• If there are eyewitnesses, you should ask for names and contact information. Also make note of the badge numbers of emergency personnel involved.
• Take photographs of the vehicles, treadmarks and any other pertinent information.
If you can do so, the filing and paperwork process should begin the day of the accident. The notes made at the scene will help with the information requested by the insurance company. Next, you should create an accident diary as soon as possible so that all details are still fresh.
Refer to the notes taken previously to create a “play by play” of the accident, who said what, body language and any other details that may later help in some way. In addition to helping you tell the story the same way every time, the diary will be useful if complications develop at a later date.
Contact Your Insurance Company Immediately
Even if the police ruling was in your favor, be sure to contact your insurance company first. The main purpose is just to keep them informed, but the other driver could be uninsured or later make a claim that it was your fault. Next, contact the other driver’s insurance company. Be sure that, should they ask for your notes, you only allow them to make a copy and retain the originals for yourself. When dealing with either insurance company be sure that blame is not mentioned. Since the idea is to pay the least amount possible, mention of blame could weigh against your claim.
Request Proper Documentation From Police.
If a police report was filed, you should request a copy to keep with your records. Hop on your local news site and print a local weather report for that day – you never know what type of information may later be helpful. If there was something odd about the road conditions noted the day of the accident, the weather report could help to clear that up.