Anyone who has experienced the shock of a car accident knows that immediately afterward, it’s tough to think straight. Your emotions run high and you or someone else involved might be injured. Your day’s routine is completely thrown off as you get a handle on the situation.
So here are some tips on what you should do if you’re in an accident.
The first thing is to find out if anyone is injured. Ask your passengers and the people in the other car. Remember, everyone is in shock and they may not even realize they may be hurt. So stay as calm as you can. If people are hurt call 911 immediately.
Then get the name and address of the driver of the other car and insurance information. If there’s any kind of damage to either car or injury, call the police.
This is especially true if you don’t feel the accident is your fault. Also, in that case, encourage the police officer to issue a traffic ticket to the other driver.
And, either way, don’t ever admit fault at the scene. Let the chips fall where they may as the police investigate and your insurance companies negotiate the percentages of fault.
You can either call your insurance company directly to report the loss. Or see us at our office. When you come in to file a claim at our agency, you’ll talk with Cathy LeTray, our claims manager.
Cathy will submit the loss to your insurance company and the appropriate form to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. That’s form MV-104 and it must be filed by all drivers for any accident where the property damage of any person is $1,001 or more.
Information You Should Bring to Your Insurance Company
- The date the accident occurred.
- Where the accident happened.
- How the accident happened.
- The year, make, and model of the vehicles involved.
- Description of the damage to each vehicle.
- The names, addresses, and contact info for as many of the people involved in the accident as you can get. Plus the other vehicle’s insurance company and policy number.
- The extent of any injuries as far as you know.
- Names and contact info for any witnesses to the accident.
- The name of the police department who responded to the accident and the report number.
Damage to Your Car
If there’s damage to your car and you have Collision Coverage, we can assign an adjuster to look at the car and get the process going to get it fixed. If you collect on your Collision and the accident is not your fault, your insurance company will go after the other car’s insurance for reimbursement. When they get their money, you get your deductible back.
Or, we can send your estimate to the other insurance carrier and have them process your claim. The problem here, though, is that we don’t represent the other driver. We can’t control how fast your claim is paid and vehicle fixed. We think collecting on your Collision is the best, most efficient way for you to get back on the road.
Injuries to You and/or Your Passengers
If there are injuries to you or anyone in your car, your own No-Fault insurance will pay all your medical bills. That’s the beauty of the New York State No-Fault law. You don’t have to go through the hassle of suing the other driver to get those medical bills paid. Your car insurance company will pay them for you. And will loss of wages you or your passengers suffer because of an injury in the accident. (Up to certain limits. Ask us about getting more than the basic.)
So, if you get into a car accident, try to remain calm, don’t admit fault, call the police, and call the ambulance if people are hurt. And remember, we are there for you. Call us with all of your questions. We want to make sure you get the fast, thorough claims service you deserve.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.