An auto accident scene can be stressful, but it also presents an opportunity to avoid a lot stress during the insurance claims process. By keeping a cool head and paying attention to details, you can greatly ease the burdens on yourself and your insurance company and return your life to normal. At the scene, do your best to collect the following:
The other person’s information – Most everyone knows to “trade information” with the parties involved after an accident. But what information do you need to get? To help things run smoothly with your insurance company, you should write down the other person’s:
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance provider
- Policy number
- Number of occupants in the other involved vehicle
These items are just the essentials. Remember, the more information you have for your insurance company, the faster your claim can be resolved.
Police information – Your insurance company will be able to collect police information on its own by formally requesting a police report. However, depending on the circumstances, this process could take months. If the police arrive at the scene of your accident, write down the name and badge number of the responding officer and request the report number. This information can be of use for your insurance company.
Witness information – If there are witnesses to the accident, request their information as well. Witness testimonials can help insurance companies determine accident liability.
Vehicle information – Be sure to take note of the year, make, model, license plate number, and VIN number of all vehicles involved in the accident.
Damage information – Documenting damage that was a result of the accident is very important and helpful for your insurance company. If you can, take several pictures of your vehicle and other involved vehicles from several angles. Be sure to take note if the other vehicles were able to drive away from the accident.
It’s also a good idea to write down your account of the accident. An insurance representative may not contact you immediately, so writing down as many details as possible will keep your memory fresh and your story consistent if you are interviewed by an insurance representative more than once.
This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.