You’re on your way home from work thinking about what you need to grab before you go home, that new Netflix series that came out, what you’re going to have for dinner and it happened, you hit someone with your vehicle. Now what? Read these 6 steps for how to deal with an auto claim so that you are prepared for the unthinkable.
1. Relax and don’t freak out.
At this point having a clear head is detrimental, you don’t want to start freaking out and letting your emotions get the best of you.
2. Analyze the situation carefully
Make sure you’re not about to jump out into oncoming traffic and that it is in fact safe for you to leave your vehicle and assess the situation. If it is not safe to leave the vehicle stay inside. If there is substantial damage or injuries then you should call 911, but if there is not you do NOT have to call the police.
3. Take photos.
Even if the accident is 100% your fault you should still try to take pictures, so get that smart phone out and take some photos of the scene from multiple angles, make sure to capture the third party vehicles plate and the damage that was done to their vehicle as well as your own vehicle, take some pictures as to where the vehicles were relative to the street lines and any other important traffic mechanisms.
4. Collect information
Analyze the area for witnesses that were there for the accident and ask for their phone numbers and contact information. You should also be exchanging your insurance information with the 3rd party, there is no need for any fighting it was just an accident. It would probably be easiest to just snap a photo of the 3rd party’s insurance card, license plate and driver’s license so that you obtain all of their personal information.
5. Now what?
If everyone is safe and sound and the proper information has been obtained go immediately to the police station and file a police report. Also if you’re experiencing some pain from the accident and are worried about it go to a clinic and have them assess the pain you’re feeling.
6. Make the Claim
If you have a broker you can call them or you can call directly to the insurance agency. If the accident happened after the insurance agencies business hours you may have to wait unless they have a 24 hour claims phone line that you can provide this information to and a claim handler will follow up and call you the next day.
Stay Safe out there!