There are about 6 million car accidents in the United States each year. Even if you’re the world’s best driver, unpredictable drivers can still put you in harm’s way.
Prepare now! Learn how to report a car accident the right way. Here are the five things you should know when making a car accident report.
1. Make Sure to Collect the Right Information
Collecting the correct information is one of the first steps on how to report a car accident. You need to collect the personal information and insurance information of any other drivers involved in the accident.
If your phone is around, take a photo of their drivers license and their insurance card. At the very least, collect their name and address, as well as the make, model, and year of the vehicle. Be sure to collect this: without it, it’s easy for your car accident claim to get denied.
2. Make an Accurate Record
Next, be sure to make an accurate record of the incident while it’s still fresh in your mind. If an officer is present, they can record this information in the police report. Avoid any speculation, and stick to what you know happened.
Also, get the contact information for any witnesses to the accident. This can be crucial to supporting your version of the facts in the event of conflicting reports. And if there are officers present, note their name and badge so you can collect the police report later.
3. Take Pictures
Taking pictures is crucial to your accident report. If you have a camera or cell phone available, take photos of the scene.
Document any damage to your car. If you have visible injuries, photograph those as well. If you can’t take photos at the scene, take them as soon as possible to maintain an accurate record of the damages.
4. Do Not Provide Unnecessary Information
When interviewed by an insurance company representative, only provide requested information. Stick to the facts, and resist the urge you may have to make small talk. Use the wrong words, and suddenly you can be deemed at fault.
If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer, it’s okay to not answer. Simply tell them you don’t have the information yet.
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Finally, avoid making a recorded statement. These are never required. If you happen to say something that you later realize is incorrect, it’s much more difficult to go against your own recorded statement.
5. Resist Immediate Settlement or Check Offers
Finally, resist any settlements made within the first few days after the accident. Usually, the insurance company is trying to save money with these quick payouts. And they’ll make you sign a release to free the insurance company of any further obligations.
Some car accident damages or injuries do not manifest immediately. Taking these early payouts can cause you to lose out on a larger settlement.
Now You Know How to Report a Car Accident!
Now you know how to report a car accident the next time you experience one. Looking for more helpful advice? Make sure to bookmark our site and check back regularly for more!