An accident on one of Eau Claire’s busy roads is the last thing you want to experience. But what happens when you find yourself in the middle of one? Aside from the all too common ‘ensure you/everybody is safe,’ allow us to give you some insight into what you should do with regard to an insurance claim.
In the event of an accident, confirm that you and those around you are okay and safe. Does that sound familiar? Of course, it does — because it forms a bulk of accident fast-response protocols on the web.
We are not downplaying the importance of safety checks. Having confirmed that everybody is okay and sorted, your next focus should be on steps to help with any possible insurance claim you might have.
Naturally, emotions will be high, and you’ll instinctively want to absolve yourself of the blame. However, as aggrieved and offended, you may feel, keep calm, and try not to say or do anything you may regret later. At the same time, do not rush to accept liability — no matter if it may seem that you were actually in the wrong.
The First Step is To Call 911
Regardless of the magnitude of the accident, a police report is the surest way to verify facts in court or even with an insurance company. Sometimes police departments will not respond to minor fender benders. But if there’s even the slightest of injuries or if your wrecked vehicles hinder traffic, they have no choice but to come to the scene.
If the other party not in support of calling the police, it’s either they are intoxicated, uninsured, or are just trying to avoid paying for their mistakes. If the other driver is hesitant to any degree, make that call regardless.
When the police respond, it’s not your business to convince them that you are right or wrong. Just give them your proof of insurance, driver’s license, registration number, and all the necessary facts.
Also, avoid discussing the details with other drivers. This is likely to brew unnecessary tensions and quarrels. Instead, focus on documenting the facts.
What Exactly Should You Document About The Accident?
If you are part of an accident, you’re required by law to exchange information with other involved parties. Both of you should share:
- Your name
- Phone Numbers
- Insurance Agency and Company
- Insurance Policy Numbers
You also should make a note of the following:
- The license plate, color, make, and model of all the vehicles involved.
- When did the accident occur? If it’s at night, is there adequate street lighting? If it is by day, note the sun’s position and how it affected your vision.
- How is the pavement? Is it wet or icy?
- Were you or the others using your turn signals, headlights, and wipers?
During the documentation, consider the following:
- Never share your Social Security Number with the other parties.
- Is the driver’s name similar to that on the proof of insurance or the registration? If not, establish their connection to the registered owner.
- You can record physical pieces of evidence like license plate numbers, insurance documents, drivers’ licenses, and registrations using your cellphone for backup.
- Take pictures of all four sides of the vehicles involved, with a focus on any damages and skid marks.
- Do not tell anybody involved in the accident about the coverage limits on your insurance policy.
- Get the contact details of any witnesses as soon as it’s convenient. Ask them if they’ve previously seen similar accidents around that area.
- Follow up with the cops handling the matter. Get their badge numbers or business cards, and the police report when it’s ready.
Call Your Insurance Agent As Soon As It’s Practical
Most people dread informing their agents for fear of increased rates or cancellations. Regardless, this is why you have insurance. Don’t hesitate to call us.
Strobel Insurance will assist you in starting the claims process and make sure you are taken care of. We are located Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and are licensed in Indiana, Minnesota, Chippewa Valley, and Arizona. Get in touch with us to learn more.