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At the scene
If you are involved in an accident, there are several initial steps to follow to ensure a smooth claims process. Immediately after the accident, exchange information with the other driver. Gather the other party's name, address and drivers' license number, the name of his insurance carrier and policy number and the year, make and model of his vehicle. If the driver is unwilling or unable to provide information, gather the license plate number, car information (year, make and model) and any other information you can collect. Take pictures of the accident scene and involved vehicles with your camera or picture phone. Try to capture the pictures from every angle so that all details can be seen. Contact the authorities and file a police report. In many cases, the police will arrive at the scene of the accident and gather as much information as possible. Give the police the details that you remember and provide your information for the report. The officer will provide you with a police report number.
Contact your insurance company
Contact your insurance carrier immediately. You will be required to provide a statement, usually recorded, with the details of the accident. This will serve as your claims deposition. Be clear and direct in your statement. Provide the claims representative with the accident report number given to you by the police. Request that your vehicle be towed to a repair shop if it has extensive damage. Your claims adjuster will visit the scene of the accident and the repair shop to complete his investigations. If the claims adjuster has questions, he will contact you for additional information. Respond to the adjuster in a timely fashion and address any concerns in a detailed manner.
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