No one wants to hear the words “I’m not insured” after being in a car accident. Regardless of whether or not you were at fault, there is physical damage to your vehicle and potentially bodily damage and injury that may not be noticed straight away.
Immediately following an accident, you’re charged with gathering your thoughts and shaking off the initial shock as you prepare to exchange information, contact authorities and get in touch with insurance companies to file a claim.
What information should I obtain?
Here are a few items you’ll want to gather from the other parties involved in an accident and any witnesses. Obtaining this information will assist your insurance provider in assessing damages. If it is possible to move vehicles off to the side of the road, do so safely and proceed with obtaining or noting the following things:
- The other driver’s vehicle make, model, and registration number. This information will be extremely useful in the event you are provided false identification by an uninsured motorist
- You will need to collect the driver’s name and address, your insurance provider will request this information in the event of any accident
- Use any means available to write down as much information as possible regarding details about:
- The accident scene including road markings
- The speed you were travelling at
- The weather at the time for the accident
- Directions of travel
- Street names and intersection
- Visibility and time of day, were headlights on if accident occurred at night?
- Traffic signals being used and state of traffic light signals
- Damage to your vehicle as well as others involved
- If you have a camera or mobile device with a camera, take as many photographs as you can to document the accident, identify other drivers and potential witnesses.
Try to obtain photos safely without risking bodily harm to yourself or others in the process.
Should I call the police?
You will want to call the police following any accident where any of the following situations applies:
- Bodily injury
- Traffic obstructions
- Damage to a third party property
If you do have to contact the police, make sure you obtain a police report number from the officer present at the scene.
When providing information and documentation to your insurance provider, during the filing of a claim, provide a copy of the police report, photos, your notes, and diagrams of the accident, along with any hospital bills, diagnoses, and treatments.
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