Here at Great Lakes Insurance in Cloquet and Duluth, MN, we hope you never have to experience a motor vehicle collision, but if you do, we want you to be prepared and protect yourself during the moments following the accident. Here’s exactly what to do (and what not to do) immediately after a car accident.
First, File a Report
Once everybody has been removed from harm’s way, file a police report. Call 911 (or a non-emergency line if you know it) to report the accident. They’ll send an officer to the scene to file a report.
While you may be tempted not to notify police, especially if there as no damage or you believe you were the one who caused the accident, you should always file a police report. The police report may be required to have any damage to your vehicle repaired and can protect you from accusations that might arise later – such as leaving the scene of an accident.
Then, Talk to Your Agent
Call your insurance agent’s office to let him or her know that you’ve been in accident. While the police report is essential, this step should come next. Your agent can help you remain calm and coach you through the next steps to be sure you collect all of the information you need to file a claim and avoid saying or doing things that might create risk for you down the road.
Collect Important Information
In order to ensure you have the information you need:
- Ask any other drivers involved in the accident for their name, contact information, and insurance information.
- Get the name and contact information of any passengers in your vehicle or other vehicles involved in the accident.
- Jot down some notes regarding potential witnesses, the events leading up to the accident, and any visible damage that has occurred as a result of the accident. Take pictures if you can.
Be prepared to share this information with your insurance agent.
Assist with the Police Report
The law enforcement officer who arrives at the scene will have questions for you and may request information and documentation from you, like your name, contact information, insurance card, driver’s license, and vehicle registration card. Answer any questions the officer asks without providing extra, unsolicited information.
Avoid These Common Mistakes
Avoid oversharing or engaging in discussions with other parties aside from collecting the information you need. Don’t speculate about who was at fault or how the accident occurred and don’t share unsolicited information with the officer who responds to the call. Never admit fault as it can hinder or stop an investigation and leave you and your insurance company liable for damages that may not have been your fault.
Finally, File a Claim
Reach out to your agent to get the claim process started once you’re cleared to leave the scene. Are you paying too much for your auto insurance? Contact Great Lakes Insurance today for a free quote!