What should I do after a car accident?

If your are involved in a car accident, first make sure you move out of the way of traffic, put on your hazard warning lights and get to a safe place. You should always call the police, even if the accident is minor. A police office will take an accident report assessing the entire situation. If anyone is injured in the accident you should request medical assistance.

Once the situation is secure and all parties are safe, you should exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) if there are any. Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, license plate numbers and insurance information. If a police officer is on the scene- their report should contain all of this information as well. If there are witnesses, be sure to ask for their contact information as well.

Next, contact your car insurance company. It is best to do this as soon as possible after a car accident. Your insurance card should have your insurance companies contact information on the back. Some auto insurance companies now offer online claims reporting for customer convenience. If you speak with a claims specialist over the phone, be sure to write down their name, phone number and your claims number in the event you need to contact them with any questions that come up after the call.

The amount of time it will take your car insurance company to process your claim varies with the specifics of each claim. The type of claim, severity of damages and other factors can all affect the length of time it will take for the claim to settle. In order to speed the process along, be sure to report your claim as quickly as possible and gather any information that your claim specialist asks from you.