So you were in an accident. It wasn’t a big accident just a fender bender.
Besides an ego or two, no one’s hurt and you’re trying to figure out what to do next. The scene of a small car accident is an uncomfortable and unusual situation. Many times the other driver just wants to leave, especially if it was their fault. They might say “hey nothing big happened” or “there isn’t that much damage, let’s just go home”. But please don’t do that.
Check out our video about the three things you should do:
Here’s what you do:
1. Call the Police
It’s super important to have a police report throughout the insurance claim process. Why? Because it’s the primary evidence for who’s fault the accident was. In At Fault States, who caused the accident is super important. If you don’t have a police report, you have to trust that the other person will tell the truth to the insurance companies. While we would love to tell you that happens every time, we just can’t. It simply isn’t true. Stories change and without a police report things can get messy very quickly. So call the police, even if the other person doesn’t want you to, and get that police report.
2. Get The Other Driver’s Insurance Information
Specifically, you need their name, contact information, their insurance company, and their insurance policy number.
Since you called the police (nice job!), it’s likely that they collected the above information for you. They often give it to you AT THE SCENE in the form of a field report. But police officers are not required to provide a field report and sometimes they don’t. So you need to make sure (whether that’s by asking the police officer or by going and talking to the other person) that you collect their insurance company information and the policy number before you leave the scene of the accident.
3. Don’t Say Anything More Than the Facts
Don’t say anything that incriminates yourself like, “I should have done this” or “gosh I’m so sorry I made this big mistake.” The insurance companies will figure who is actually at fault in the situation. Don’t make those decisions at the scene of the accident. Just tell the police officer exactly what happened. “Just the facts ma’am”. Just share the facts and let the insurance companies decide whose fault it was. Saying things like “I should have…” or “I could have…” or “gosh I made a big mistake…” could come back to bite you in the insurance claims process.
So many people call us and haven’t done those things in accident situations. Many of them end up in a real pickle. Now that you’ve read this post, you won’t be one of them!
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