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I've Been In a Collision - What Do I Do?

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008

Auto Insurance

If you have been in a collision, the first thing you should do is check to make sure everyone is okay. All injuries should be checked out by a doctor--including your own. Just because you think you aren't hurt or aren't hurt badly, doesn't mean that you are okay. Some small injuries can turn into life long injuries. After that, ensure that you get the information on the other driver, including driver's license number, phone number, address, insurance policy number and insurance company's phone number. You should also provide the same information to the other party or parties to the collision.

After you have the information, identify witnesses to the collision and ask them for their name and phone number in case you, or the police, need a witness statement of the collision from them at a later time.
If the police have not attended your collision, then head over to a police station to file an accident report. The next step is to call your insurance company right away.

You should get a copy of the police report and the other parties insurance information. Even if the police have attended your collision, you should take pictures of the vehicles that were involved in the collision yourself. Taking pictures of all the vehicles that were involved in the collision will prevent the other party from claiming damage to a vehicle that wasn't related to the accident that you were involved in. Remember, just because you inform your insurance company that you have been involved in a collision doesn't mean you are making a claim through your insurance.

Before you even get into a collision, you should read through your insurance policy so that you understand what is covered and what isn't covered in the event of a collision. If you have any questions, call the insurance agent or insurance company to get those questions answered.

Being in a collision isn't any fun, but it is a time that you should keep a level head. If the accident was the other drivers fault, you can leave your insurance company or the other insurance company to repair or replace your vehicle. However, it is best to allow the other driver's insurance company to handle the repairs on your vehicle-ifyou aren't at fault and you go through the other drivers insurance company, you will not need to make a claim on your insurance nor will you have to pay a deductible.

Don't let the insurance companies off the hook for the replacement or repair of your vehicle too soon. You should make sure that the settlement they have offered you is fair and satisfies you. You can have your insurance company handle the claim on your behalf if the other insurance company offers an unacceptable settlement or questions the 'at fault' for the collision.

Don't forget about bodily injuries as well as the damage to your vehicle. If you are hurt in the collision, you may be entitled to a monetary settlement for the injuries caused by the other driver. Some injuries do not appear right away and can take up to a week to show. If you think you've been injured as a result of the collision, get to a doctor and have it documented as soon as possible, then contact your insurance company or the other party's insurance company and let them know as well.

While it's not any fun to file a claim for your insurance after a collision, following these steps will certainly make it easier.

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