Steps To Take Immediately After An Accident

April 2, 2015

You’ve just had an automobile accident. You’re shaken. Your first instinct is to make sure everyone is ok. Then what? The actions you take and the information you exchange in those next few moments is crucial to the ensuing claim and recovery process. To help make the process as smooth as possible, consider the following:

  1. Call emergency services, if needed. This may sound obvious, but the most important thing following an accident is whether or not you, your passengers or the people in the other vehicle are okay. When adrenaline is pumping – injuries are not always obvious.
  2. Contact the police. Make sure to ask for any relevant report number and obtain the officer’s name as well as his/her badge number.
  3. Exchange information. While in most cases we recommend calling the police so that a report is filed, at times, people are not able to stay and wait for an officer to arrive. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you obtain the following information from the other driver(s):
    • Names
    • Phone numbers
    • Addresses
    • Driver’s license numbers
    • Vehicle year, make and model
    • License plate numbers
    • Basic insurance information (insurance company and policy number)
    • Passenger information (name, phone number, address)
  4. Check to see if there are any witnesses. Obtain their information (name, phone number, address) if so. You might want to consider recording the witness’ statement (with permission).
  5. Document the scene. Take photos of the damage to your vehicle, the other vehicle(s), and any other relevant information such as driver’s licenses, license plates, street names, skid marks, and the other people involved (with permission). This can be particularly valuable if the police do not write a report (this is sometimes the case when there are no apparent injuries). However, we have seen many instances where injuries are claimed after the fact. 
  6. Do not admit fault. It is important to remember that in some accidents, while you may think it’s your fault, it isn’t always. Insurance companies will typically determine/debate this between each other.
  7. Use caution in discussing the incident. Similar to the point above, unless you plan on filing a claim, don’t speak to representatives from other companies. Your PURE claims adjuster can deal with them directly on your behalf.
  8. Write down your version of events. While the incident is fresh in your memory, make sure to capture what happened. If you were on the phone initially with us but requested to call back, do so as soon as you are able to so we can take your statement.

 

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To report a claim, PURE members can call 888.813.7873 (PURE).