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Filing an Auto Insurance Accident Claim

Being involved in a car accident can be a scary situation. The odds that you’ll be involved in one are very likely. According to Fox Business, the car insurance industry estimates that the average driver will file a claim every 17.9 years. And since most people get their license at 16-years-old, this means you’ll probably have a car accident by the time you turn 34.

How to work with your auto insurance company

Dealing with your insurance company will be an easy process if you understand what to do when you get into a car accident. And there are also several things you shouldn’t do that could jeopardize your insurance coverage. The important thing is that you stay safe and follow a few simple guidelines to ensure a hassle-free claim with your carrier.

Things You’ll Need

• Pen
• Paper
• Camera
• Phone First Aid Kit

It’s a good idea to always keep a pen a paper tucked away in a safe place in your car. If another party is involved in the car accident you will need to get their license number, insurance number and contact information.

The camera and phone are mostly all-in-one with smart phones, but a first aid kit is something many people don’t think about traveling with. If you purchase a small one and tuck it away in your car, you’ll be glad you have it when your turn for an auto accident arrives.

Be Safe

Too many accident victims get injured even further by wondering into oncoming traffic! Stay inside of your vehicle whether you are injured or not, then move your vehicle to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights if you are able to.

Remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt on if you are injured or unable to move your car. If you are not injured check on the other driver if another vehicle was involved.

Help Others

Step out of your vehicle and check on all the parties involved. Ask everyone if they have any injuries or need help moving their automobile to the side of the road. Use a first-aid kit to administer any medical attention you are capable of.

Call for Help

Dial 9-1-1 and request for a police officer to take an accident report. Ask for an ambulance if there are any major injures. Inform the operator of any suspicious behavior you notice from the other drivers.

Exchange Auto Insurance Information

Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance companies, policy numbers, driver’s license numbers and license plate numbers with everyone connected with the accident. Write a detailed description of all the cars involved and the damages that occurred. Wait for the police to deal with any uncooperative people.

Take Pictures

Use your camera to take pictures of all the vehicles involved in the accident. Make certain to capture different angled shots that clearly show the extent of the damages.

Don’t Admit Guilt

Don’t admit guilt to the accident even if it was your fault. Let the police handle the questions and answer to the best of your ability. Ask for a copy of the accident report taken by the police officer if it’s available to you.

Don’t Talk to Another Person’s Insurance Company

Don’t talk, give a written statement, release your medical records or accept an injury settlement from an insurance company that is not your own. You have no legal obligation to speak to another person’s insurance carrier.

Call Your Auto Insurance Company

Inform your auto insurance carrier about the accident as soon as possible. Be specific about everything that occurred and don’t leave out any details. Give them the information you collected at the scene and ask any questions you may have about your policy.

Do What Your Auto Insurance Company Tells You

Be honest with your auto insurance company and follow their advice. Take your car to their recommend repair shops, visit their suggested doctors and sign anything that is required of you.

Ask Questions if you are Confused

Contact your auto insurance agent if you have any questions regarding your policy. Don’t leave things up to chance if you don’t have to. Make certain you are within the bounds of your policy and act accordingly. If you are “average” you only get in a car accident once every 17 years, so it’s okay to not fully understand the process.

Tips

Don’t accept money from people who don’t want to contact their insurance company about the accident. Let your insurance handle everything.

Warnings

Stay inside of your vehicle if someone is being uncooperative or threatens you. Don’t attempt to argue with anyone. Instead, write down a detailed description of their vehicle and inform the police.

Summary

Being in an auto accident is an uncommon situation for most people. Do your best to keep your wits about you and stay calm. Follow some of the tips and advice to be prepared for an accident and the process of documenting it and filing a claim will go very smoothly.

One last tip…call your auto insurance company and ask them if they have any guidelines they want you to follow in the event of a car accident. Odds are they have a policy and procedure plan in place that if followed, will make an uncomfortable situation go very smoothly. Drive safe!