Not everyone knows how to handle the insurance companies after an accident. Drivers must exchange insurance information after a car accident. But there are some other important steps.
Take a moment to make sure you are safe. That is most important.
Document the scene. It is good to take photos with your phone.
Call the Police
Especially if you are not at fault for the accident, you should call the police to the scene. It is important that the police make a collision report of the accident. This is key evidence. You may be worried about the accident showing up on your record. But, in fact, calling an officer to the scene can prevent the incident being on your record. Every accident reported to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will show up on your record for three to five years, unless the collision report says you were not at fault. This is another reason why if you were not responsible for causing the collision you should contact the police.
Call Your Insurance Company
When another person hits your vehicle, it is important to contact your own insurance company. Inform your carrier that there has been an accident. Be prepared to provide the information that your insurance requests. This includes the information you get from the other driver. Your insurance will want to know what police department is responding to the incident. Be prepared to provide the facts of the incident including the location, time, and date. You may be worried about reporting an accident to your insurance because you fear that your premiums will increase. It is unlikely your rates will increase if you are not at fault and responsible for causing the accident. Insurance companies use many different factors to determine rates, including the severity of accidents that you may have caused and your driving history in the past.
Do Not Contact the Other Person’s Insurance
This is a trap that you want to avoid. Anything you say or provide to the other party’s insurance will be used against you. The best way to proceed is to wait until you have spoken to a lawyer about your case before speaking to the other driver’s insurance company. This will allow you to set up a strong foundation for your personal injury case. It is likely that after an accident, the other party’s insurance company will attempt to contact you. You don’t have to speak to them! Instead, your lawyer should represent your best interests and speak for you. This is for your own protection because insurance adjusters are trained to use manipulation to reduce the value of your claim.
Dealing with insurance can be stressful, but we are here to help! Contact an accident lawyer from The Sterling Firm and we will fight the other driver’s insurance company so you can get the maximum compensation for your claim.