Nobody wants to be involved in an accident, but everyone should have a plan and be prepared.
After an accident, it is important to gather information as quickly as possible.
Stop immediately and as close to the accident site as is safely possible.
Do not move your vehicle unless directed by a police officer or if it is in a position to cause another accident. Check everybody involved for injuries. If the accident was more serious than a fender-bender, call 911 immediately. To protect victims from further injury, don’t move them. Cover them with a blanket or jacket and wait for the paramedics to arrive.
Only discuss the accident with the investigating officer. Do not blame anyone, including yourself. The police will tell you what to do next—such as whether you should move the vehicles out of traffic. While you are waiting for the police, exchange insurance information with the other driver if possible.
Information you will need to obtain:
- Name of driver
- Their driver's license number
- Name of their insurance company
- Phone number of company or agent
- Effective dates of their insurance policy
- The driver’s phone number
Other important information to collect at the scene includes:
- Names of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident
- Make, model, color, and license plate number of each vehicle involved
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses
- Photos or drawings of the accident scene and damage to each vehicle
- Names and badge numbers of police officers and responding medical teams
- Information on how you can receive a copy of the police report
- If you hit an unattended vehicle, try to find the owner. If you are unable to locate the owner, leave a note with your name and phone number on the car’s windshield.
After the investigating officer has completed a report and you’ve received any necessary medical care, phone your insurance agent, or company claim hotline as soon as possible, even if you weren’t at fault or are far away from home. The sooner your agent receives the information, the sooner your claim will be processed and reviewed.
Throughout the claims process, you must tell the truth about all aspects of the situation, even if the circumstances surrounding the accident are embarrassing or detrimental to you. Insurance fraud is a crime with very serious consequences.
--Content used in this post is used with permission and was originally published by Penn National Insurance.