When you’re involved in an auto accident there are a few things you want to take into consideration, but safety should be first. In the event of a collision, it will almost always be advisable to call the police if there is anyone injured, damage to either vehicle, or significant property damage. This ensures that everything is done officially, and it also makes the auto insurance claim process go much smoother.
Be sure to make note of the details:
- How did the accident occur, where, and at what time?
- Take down contact information for the owners of the registered vehicle(s) involved, and in some situations any passengers or witnesses.
- Take down any important insurance information for drivers involved: Driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance provider
Making a simple sketch of the collision may serve to be helpful as well during the claim process.
Next your car insurance company will determine whether or not you’re at fault; in almost in every situation it’s far more preferable to not be at fault. The driver who is at fault will be responsible for covering the cost related to any damages made to the other driver’s vehicle.
Keep Time Limits In Mind
It’s best to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible, but technically speaking most companies allow the customer up to 90 days to provide “proof of loss”. If you wait any longer (which you really should never do), your insurance company may not be legally obligated to honor your claim. In addition, if you plan to make a claim against another driver it is also advisable to notify them as soon as possible.
Prevent Further Loss
As a driver involved in an accident, it is 100% your responsibility to prevent any further damage to your vehicle. However, if you happen to have Collision or All Perils coverage then your car insurance company will fully cover the cost of any damage. It is also best practice not to set up any repairs for your vehicle until the claim has been settled by your appointed claims adjuster.
The Potential Downside of Not Having Collision Coverage
If you are found at fault and you do not have collision coverage, then expect to be paying a fairly hefty amount of money for repairs to the other driver’s vehicle. However, if you are not at fault then you don’t have as much to worry about, and you can claim payment of your damages from the driver who is at fault.