What to Do When You Are In an Auto Accident

As a trusted insurance consultant or what others will call me, an insurance agent.  There are times we get phone calls when a client of ours is involved in an auto accident.  No one likes auto accidents, not the person involved, the employer and/or the parents for those of you who are our personal lines customers.  Our first thoughts are, “Is everyone alright?”  We are all human and we do naturally care for other humans in a traumatic event.  Once we know everyone in the accident is OK, our second thought is, “What do I do now?”

Today I am going to speak to our clients regarding a non-fatal, non-injury auto accidents.  I tell my clients to take pictures of everything.  Most of us, if not all of us have a cell phone with a camera.  Assuming you can get out of your vehicle, start taking pictures.

  • Take pictures of your vehicle inside and out, and go all around the vehicle.
  • Then take pictures of any people who were in your vehicle as you might forget who was there.  It has been proven when we see or suffer a traumatic event, we will forget many important facts.  With pictures, it helps us to remember and it helps the claim adjustors/police figure out what happened.
  • Once we are all taken care of, then take pictures of the other vehicle(s) just like what we did on our vehicle.  If you can’t get inside of the other vehicle, no issues.  It is nice to get it especially if the other vehicle is engaged with any illegal activity.  Don’t push it, if it does not feel right move along.
  • After those pictures take pictures of the intersection or the road where the accident occurred.  Take at least one North, South, East and West.  Focus on any signs on all four roads.  This can help determine who is at fault.  More importantly, it can help you in the event of a citation or lawsuit.

Let’s face it, if your insurance company can get out of paying a claim they will, if it’s the right thing to do because it was someone else’s fault.  If you can prove it was someone else’s fault, you should not be assigned those driving points on your driving record/MVR or company loss runs.  Pictures will assist the insurance claims process and could lead to a subrogation against the other vehicle either fully or partial.  Just remember, the claim and any payout of that claim will be with you on your next renewal.  If you decided to market your account, reducing the loss costs will help us “trusted consultants” get you the best coverage and price.

Take care and drive safe.