Accidents can leave drivers a little shaken and unsure of the next step, or how to get through a claim. InsuranceHotline.com offers drivers some easy to remember tips to navigate through the process of dealing with a car accident.
After an accident, drivers aren’t always sure what the correct steps are to take. Getting through the process of dealing with an accident from the scene to the claim can be confusing and a little daunting. With a few simple tips, drivers can get through the accident and everything that follows as smoothly and with as little difficulty as possible.
At The Scene
Right after an accident, the first thing the drivers involved should do is to assess the situation.
Should the Police Be Called?
The most important thing to do after an accident is to check for injuries. If anyone is injured, getting medical attention is the first priority, and the police should be called. Once its been ascertained that no one is hurt, run through a quick checklist to assess the accident and determine if the police should be called.
- Does there appear to be more than $1000 in damage?
- Has any property, public or private been damaged?
- Does any driver appear to be in violation of the law, such as the appearance of being inebriated?
If the answer to any of these is yes, then the police must be contacted immediately and reporting a car accident is required.
Dealing With the Cars and Drivers
After these things have been assessed, move on to dealing with the scene.
- Move the vehicles out of the way of traffic if possible
- Call for a tow truck if the vehicles can not be driven
- Exchange contact information with the other driver, as well as insurance information
- Take down contact information for any witnesses, including passengers
- Take photos of the scene and the damage if possible
Things To Avoid
At the scene of an accident, never admit to fault. It is up to insurance companies to determine who is at fault, and admitting fault at the scene could affect the claim. Avoid arguing with the other driver. Accidents can cause people to become angry and emotional; try to stay calm and avoid confrontation.
After The Accident
The next thing to deal with after the accident scene has been cleared away is filing a claim. Most insurance companies request that you file a claim as soon as possible after an accident. "It’s best to report an accident before memory fades and it’s hard to be certain of what happened, " says Tammy Ezer of InsuranceHotline.com. When calling the insurance company, be ready with:
- The policy number
- The date and time of the accident
- The contact information for the other driver and any witnesses
- Any information regarding how the accident happened.
The claim will be assigned to an adjuster following the initial report, who will be in contact to take statements and assess the damage. If not already done, the vehicle will likely need to be taken to a collision reporting centre.
The insurance company will handle the claim and let all parties involved know what the next steps will be. It’s vital that everyone provide complete and accurate information to the adjusters to ensure a fair outcome. The fault determination rules Ontario will help the insurance company determine fault in the accident.