If you’ve been in a car accident, you should call your insurance company soon after you’ve contacted the police. Some insurance companies will send an agent to help you gather information at the scene of the accident, while some will merely take information over the phone.
Informing the Insurance Company about the Accident
Immediately after an accident, you’ll want to call 9-1-1 and tend to immediate medical concerns. If possible, the next steps will be to begin collecting information, and then to call your insurance company to report the accident.
Locate your insurance card and read the information on the back. Most companies print a list of steps to take on their customers’ I.D. cards, should an accident occur.
Common post-accident suggestions insurance companies provide their customers with include:
- Contact the police
- Do not admit fault
- Do not go into detail about your insurance coverage limits to anyone
- Gather and exchange information including the year, make, model, plate number, insurance carrier, and insurance policy number of any other involved parties
- Call your agent
The Importance of Gathering Information
Why is there such an emphasis on collecting information if you’ve been in an auto accident? This is to protect you and help support your case should issues arise with your claim. If you or the other party decides to file a lawsuit, the information you collect could be used as evidence in the case.
In addition to the items listed above, you might also want to collect:
- Pictures of the accident
- Video footage of the scene with your phone
- Witness names and numbers
- A copy of the police report
Warning: Insurance Companies’ Shady Tactics
Indiana is a fault state, meaning that injured motorists can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. As you do this, remember that while insurance representatives from the other driver’s policy may offer sympathies and a listening ear after your accident, they have a job to do. Their interest is the company’s interest, which is: their financial bottom line.
They might try to lead the conversation in such a way that you admit fault (or at least partial fault), minimize your injuries, or discredit your claim in some way. They also might offer you a much lower settlement check than what your claim is worth, hoping that you’ll just sign and accept it out of financial desperation.
This is the reason that your third call after an accident should be to a personal injury attorney. If you’ve suffered injuries in the accident, after you call the police and your insurance company, run your case by a lawyer.
An attorney will be able to:
- Explain your rights and responsibilities
- Help estimate your damages
- Inform you of whether the insurance offer is fair or not
- Help deal with the insurance companies
- Provide you with advice so you don’t accidentally wreck your claim
- Prepare a strong case should you need to file a suit
Discussing Your Options with an Injury Lawyer
For legal help in Indiana after an auto accident, contact the Indiana car accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group. Call today for a FREE no-obligation consultation.