Car accidents can be traumatic both physically and mentally. They can also end up costing drivers hundreds to thousands of dollars in damages if not dealt with properly. If you have been in a car accident that was not your fault (or was only partially your fault), it is important to take several steps regarding your own insurance provider and the insurance provider of the other driver in order to ensure that you don’t not pay a penny more than you need to for your accident. In this guide, our insurance agents here at Palm Desert Insurance have put together a list of insurance-related steps all drivers need to handle immediately following an automobile accident. Read on to learn more, and contact our Palm Desert, CA insurance team at (760) 341-2345 for assistance today!
A lot can happen in the moments during and after a car accident. In these instances, safety should always be your first priority. Always check yourself and those in your car for injuries, move off the road if you are able, and call 911 and wait for first responders to arrive.
Once you have taken necessary safe measures, it’s important to exchange information with all other drivers involved in the accident. By doing so, you and your insurance company will be able to contact other drivers when settling claims. Important information to collect and exchange includes:
- Drivers’ full names and contact information
- Drivers’ insurance companies and policy numbers
- Drivers’ license and license plate numbers
- Vehicle specifications (type, color, and model)
- Location of accident
Document All Aspects of the Accident
While exchanging information with other drivers is important, it’s also equally as important to document aspects other aspects of the accident for insurance and legal purposes (if necessary) later on. Take the following steps to ensure that your accident is thoroughly documented.
- Identify the officers who respond to your accident. Once the police arrive, get the name and badge number of all responding officers. This will help you communicate with law enforcement should complications arise down the road.
- Get a copy of the accident report. Police officers present at your accident can notify you of where you can obtain a copy of the official accident report of your accident,
- Take photos. Document your accident thoroughly by taking photos of your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident from different angles. We also recommend taking pictures all other vehicle’s license plates for reference.
- Take down names of all parties involved in the accident. Write down the names and addresses of all parties involved in your accident, including any passengers in other vehicles.
- Speak to all witnesses and get their contact information. If there were any witnesses to your accident, take down their names and their contact information. Witness accounts can be vital in traffic court and in determining final insurance payments.
Notify Your Insurer to Start the Claims Process
As a last step, it’s important to contact your vehicle insurance provider as soon as possible following your accident. Your insurance provider can tell you exactly what they will need to in order to process your claim and what to expect during the claims process. They can also remind you of your deductible and help you make arrangements to have your car repaired at a certified auto repair shop.
If you’d like to learn more about what to do if the event of an automobile accident, or if you’d like to shop for auto insurance, our professionals here at Palm Desert Insurance would be happy to help you. Give us a call at (760) 341-2345 to speak with one of Palm Desert, CA insurance agents today!