Being involved in a car accident can be a nerve-wracking experience. Here are some do's and don'ts to follow:
-Remember to keep CALM
-ALWAYS check to see if anyone is injured, and contact authorities at once
-NEVER administer first aid unless you are licensed to do so
-ALWAYS, when conditions permit, move to a “safe area” to prevent further damage
-NEVER make a "deal" for the damages
-NEVER leave the scene of an accident, even a minor one
-ALWAYS obtain complete information from those involved, including name, address, phone number
-ALWAYS notify the owner of the car you are driving (if it's not you) as soon as possible
-If your have a camera on your cell phone, ALWAYS take pictures of the damages, yours and theirs. The more photographic evidence you can gather the less likelihood of a fraudulent claim
**DMV.org's ACCIDENT REPORT GUIDE can help with a bunch of additional information about what you are legally required to do when involved in a motor vehicle accident**
You should report the incident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Companies prefer the insured report the accident themselves; this way, nothing is lost in translation between you, your agent, and the claims department. Further, the intake representative knows immediately where your vehicle is, whether or not it is driveable, that the police were or were not on the scene, and then can get an adjustor quickly assigned to your claim.
If your accident resulted in injury, death, or damage greater than $1,000, you will need to complete a Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report within 5 days of the accident. You will need 3 copies of the report -- you can complete one and bring it into our office and we will make copies and mail it the police department, your insurance company, and the RMV for you. You can access the Operator Report HERE.
It is very upsetting to have damage to your car and that is why you purchased the insurance. In the event that you do not have collision coverage and you did not cause the accident, if you get the information on the other party we can assist you in setting up a 3rd party claim.
If you have any questions regarding personal auto insurance, relevant to a claim or otherwise, please don't hesitate to call us toll free at 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Use the form at the top left of this blog.
Click below to watch a short video on why it is important to NOT attempt to settle a claim on your own, but to involve your insurance carrier.
Finally, here are a few blogs on other personal auto scenarios: