5 Key Actions To Take If You’ve Been In a Car Accident
If the police come to the scene to investigation the collision, the officer will usually obtain the critical information needed by you to file an insurance claim. The information will ultimately end up on the official collision report. However, if the police do not come to the scene, there are several pieces of critical information needed before you and the other driver leave the scene.
First, you must verify the identity of the other driver and any passenger in the other driver’s vehicle. Ask to see driver and passenger’s drivers’ license. Offer your license for review, to ease any awkwardness in the request. Take a photo of the licenses with a mobile phone if the other driver will allow it. Otherwise, carefully write the information down.
Second, ask to see any insurance verification forms that might be inside the other driver’s vehicle. Again, photograph the form if the other driver will allow it. If no verification form can be found, ask the other driver for the identity and address of the owner of the car. Don’t assume the driver is the owner. Ask the name of insurance company that the driver knows or thinks insures the car. Further, if the driver does not own the vehicle, ask the driver for the name of his/her own auto insurance company. If there is no liability insurance in force on the vehicle, you will be able to collect money for your injuries from the driver’s personal auto insurance.
Third, take photographs of the other driver’s vehicle. Be sure to photograph the tag, in case there is an issue of ownership when making a claim.
Fourth, get the names, phone numbers, and employment information of any witnesses to the collision. That way, if the at-fault driver changes thier story, you have witnesses to state how the collision occurred.
Finally, go to a local police station to report the collision and get it on file. Some cities, like Tulsa, have self-report forms that allow the reporting of collision. They can be found at a local police station or other locations in the city (like Quik Trip in Tulsa). Use the information you obtained at the scene to complete the report and file it. Be sure to retain a copy of the report for use in your insurance claim.