Would you be able to claim if you were in an accident on the road? We’ve provided key information to help make sure you are confident in the claims process.
What to do after an accident
First, get your car out of traffic if you are involved in a car accident. Make sure to not leave the scene. It’s fine if you are unable to move the vehicle. If you are unable to move the vehicle, turn off the engine. Next, check for injuries and dial 911 if necessary. You should report the accident to the police, even if there are no injuries.
Next, collect all relevant information about the accident so that when you file a claim with insurance companies, you have everything written down. You can also use photos as evidence.
These are some tips to keep in mind.
- Do not accept blame or take responsibility for the actions of another driver. All that will be resolved later by your insurance company.
- Photograph the scene including the other driver, license plates, damages to their vehicle or yours, and the direction each vehicle was going. Also, take photos of traffic signs. These details are crucial to remember when you file a claim or deal with insurance.
- This is the most important one: Exchange information. You will need to share your name, insurance company, and obtain the contact and insurance information of the other driver.
Take notes on your smartphone to capture as many details as possible. The following information should be collected:
- Year, make, model, and color of the car
- Names and ages of the driver and passenger
- The exact location of the accident
- Speed at which you drove
- Date and time of accident
- Weather conditions
- The time the police arrive as well as their name, badge number and badge number.
- Road conditions
- Witnesses (request their names and contact information).
What are my options after a car accident?
Yes. Not only will you need to notify the police immediately if someone is hurt, but also because the police report will be used by insurance investigators when assessing your claim.
What insurance company should I call after an accident?
If there are no injuries or minor accidents, your insurance provider will usually take care of you. If that is the case, your insurance provider will help you get back to normal as soon as possible.
Some states are “no fault” states. This means that if you’re involved in an accident, your insurance will cover you up to a certain limit for personal injury, vehicle damage, and related claims such as lost wages. The other driver will also be responsible for any injuries and damages they cause, regardless of whether you are at fault.
Your location can affect how much insurance compensation you receive for car accidents. Are you in a state with no fault? To better understand your coverage, check out your policy.
What if the other driver in an accident doesn’t have insurance?
In most cases, if you are involved in a car accident, your insurance will pay for the injuries and damages. What if they don’t have insurance? This makes things more complicated. Here’s what you need to know.
Nearly every state requires that you have minimum coverages for your car. So driving without insurance for any length of time is considered illegal. However, that doesn’t mean everyone does it. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can be very important. Your uninsured/underinsured insurance will help you cover medical expenses if you are hit by a driver without insurance or with inadequate liability coverage.
You have the option of bringing charges against the driver and taking them to small claims court. It might take you longer to bring them to court. However, you have the option to press charges against the driver and take them to small claims court.
Consider the implications if you don’t have insurance for your car in a state that requires it.
- You will be responsible for all damages and medical expenses caused by your fault.
- The other party could sue you for any injuries or damage that you cause.
- You may be charged with a crime and could end up in jail.
- If you do eventually shop for car insurance, it may be difficult to find affordable rates.
What do I need to file a claim after an accident?
According to dmv.org, you’ll need to submit the following information to your car insurance company when filing a claim:
- You can find your policy number on your insurance card
- Date, time, and exact location of the accident
- A detailed description of the accident
- Contact information and insurance details for the other party
- Name of the police agency involved and number of the police report
This is where you’ll put all the information you have gathered after an accident. That’s why it’s important to record as much detail as possible.
Your insurance company will pay for the costs of repairs and injuries until fault is established. This applies as long as the coverage you have, such as collision or medical expense. When you are getting repairs, keep these things in mind:
- While you may need to bring your car to an approved body shop by your insurance company for repairs, you can still get an estimate at any other body shop. Before you take your car to any shop, make sure you check with your agent.
- Your adjustor, the person responsible for investigating your claim, may ask you to compare quotes from different shops.
- You might be required to pay the difference between what the shop estimates and what your insurance determines to be fair.
You will need to retain the medical receipts from any injuries you or your passengers suffered in an accident to support your claim and send copies to your claims adjuster to prove your case and get reimbursement.
How do I file an insurance claim after an accident?
Collisions can be very stressful and it can be hard to know how or what to do after an accident. The process is usually straightforward.
Call your insurance company to file a claim. They will walk you through the process and request all of the information. After your claim has been filed, a representative from the claim department will contact you to discuss your claim and the next steps. They will review your claim and help you evaluate it. They’ll then assess your claim and work with you to make it as quick as possible.
If you want to learn more about how to file a claim after an accident with American Family Insurance, head to our claims overview page.
What if I don’t have a police report but want to make a claim?
Even if you do not have a police record, you can still file a claim. This will require more effort and may take longer to process.
If you do not have a police report, any of the following information can be helpful in filing a claim:
- Photographs of the accident scene, and the damage to the vehicle
- Statements from the parties
- Statements by Eyewitness
- The road and weather conditions at the accident site
What is the maximum time I can file a claim?
It is important to start the claims process as quickly as possible. You should file a claim as soon as possible. The state statute of limitations usually only applies to two-three years. However, some insurance companies will only cover the cost of repairs for the year the accident occurred. It is not in your best interests to delay. The longer you wait, it will be more difficult to find other victims of the accident and conduct interviews or do other research that could help your case.
Our advice: Our advice?
What happens to a car insurance claim after an accident?
Your company will assign a claims adjuster who will investigate your claim once it has been filed. An adjustor can do many things.
- Examine the police report.
- Interview witnesses and other participants.
- Seek out the accident scene.
- Take photos of the car and inspect it for any damage.
- They will likely ask you to sign a release form for medical purposes so that they can examine your records.
- For information regarding your injuries, contact any physician.
- Examine medical records, bills, and evidence of wage loss.
- They may also check your social media accounts in some cases to verify any information you have provided.
- They’ll interview you to get your perspective.
- An adjuster will determine who was at fault for the accident and work with the insurance company of the other party to figure out how much they will pay.