At Casper & Casper, we know that even a minor automotive or motorcycle accident can be a stressful and confusing experience. Here are some simple tips that may prove to be helpful should you be involved in an accident.
- Take reasonable steps to protect yourself and your vehicle by moving it out of the flow of traffic.
- Always report a car accident to the police if someone is injured.
- Always report a car accident to the police if the damage appears to exceed your deductible limit.
- Try to take notes at the scene that include the identification of the vehicles and people involved, and the names and badges of emergency personnel.
- Collect names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses to the accident. You might need to get their statements later.
- Take pictures with you cell phone.
- Get a Driver Information-Exchange Form from the police officer. This is a quick checklist that covers all the information you should be collecting from the other party.
- Don’t accept money, don’t accept fault, and don’t agree to forget about the accident.
- Contact your insurer as soon as possible after the accident, and make sure that you file a complete claim. You might have difficulty processing a claim if you’re late contacting your insurer or if you’re found withholding details.
- Make sure that your insurance company agrees to pay for all repairs before you have the work completed.
- Find out how your insurer handles supplemental repairs just in case the repair shop finds more damage to your car that wasn’t on the original estimate.
- Ask your insurance company if they have a list of preferred repair shops in your area. These shops may be able to process your claim and begin repairs faster.
- Check all repairs at the auto shop and also when you’ve returned home to make sure that you’re satisfied with the work.
- Get an official receipt from the repair shop that details all the work they completed (you might need to submit this with your insurance claim).
Barb Strady, Attorney at Law