You Just Got into a Car Accident. Now What?
The minutes right after a car accident are a blur. What just happened!? What am I supposed to do now?
Well, first, take a deep breath then:
1. Move to a safe location
If your vehicle is not in a safe location and if you are able to move your vehicle, get to a safe location off the road and put your hazard lights on.
2. Check on everybody involved
Are you okay? Any pain when you move? What about the other vehicle(s)? It’s important to check to see if anybody needs immediate help.
3. Call 911
The dispatcher will ask where you are and if anybody is hurt. Give them the best description of your location. Landmarks such as nearby gas stations or mile markers are helpful. This is important to do even for minor collisions. If the police are able to come to the scene, they will file a report of your car accident. This will help your insurance claim process.
4. Exchange insurance information with anyone involved
Whether law enforcement is able to come to the scene or not, documentation is crucial. Make sure you record important details, like:
- Driver’s contact information (name, phone number and address)
- License plate numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Car insurance information (name of insurer, address and phone number)
Additionally, if you or someone else in your vehicle can safely take photos of the accident scene and involved vehicles it can help with documentation. Lastly, try to limit your conversations with involved parties. An auto accident is likely to lead to a liability dispute and the accident scene is not the appropriate forum for those discussions.
5. Call your Anders, Ireland & Marshall insurance agent
After the police arrive; call your local, independent, Anders, Ireland & Marshall agent. If the accident happens after office operating hours, some carriers offer an after-hours 1-800 number. We also have a claims page with links to most carriers with many offering online filing - https://www.aim-insurance.com/claims.aspx
We’ll Take It from Here
After you start to file a claim, one of the first things that will happen is a claim number will be assigned. Soon after that, a claim representative will be assigned to your claim. The claim representative assigned to your claim will guide you through the process of getting an estimate for your vehicle. The method of inspection will be determined by the severity of the damages to your vehicle.
Whether your car needs a minor repair or is a total loss, the claim representative’s job is to answer any questions and help get you back on the road.
Getting Behind the Wheel Again
Your auto policy may include a rental car reimbursement. Your claim representative will work with you and the rental agency to bill the insurance carrier directly, subject to your policy limits. Your policy will keep you in the rental for a reasonable time to conduct the repairs or until any total loss offer.
Questions? Unsure about what your policy covers? Call us! We are happy to review your vehicle coverages with you.
We are proud to represent Auto Owners Insurance Company. Many of these tips came from Auto Owners latest blog post that can be found here: