Being involved in a car accident can be incredibly traumatic while causing a wide variety of injuries and property damages. When the accident is caused by the other person, it is up to their insurance provider to reimburse you for all of your expenses caused by that accident. To file a claim with their provider, there are several things you will have to collect for them to ensure your claim is accepted and that you’re rightfully paid in full.
After the Accident
After any serious accident, it is imperative that someone calls the police to the scene of the crash so they can formally report the incident and give a citation to the offending party if necessary. Before you leave the scene, there are few things you must do, if you’re physically able, such as:
- Take photos and videos of the vehicle damage
- Take photos of your visible injuries
- Collect contact and insurance information from the other driver
- Collect contact information from any willing eye-witnesses
- Get the name, badge number, and contact information of the responding police officer
Request the Crash Report
Many states are making this process much easier than it used to be, as there are now databases on the official state website where you can search for your accident using different criteria, such as the accident number (if you happen to get this from the police), or simply the date of the accident and your driver’s license number. If your state does not have this option, you can do the following:
- Call the number on the responding officer’s business card or using the number they gave you, if you remembered to collect this information at the accident scene. If not, call the local police station and ask to speak with that officer.
- Once you contact the officer, tell them your name and give a brief description of the accident, then ask for the crash report.
- If they cannot give it to you, call a clerk at your local courthouse or the DMV. Once you track down the report’s location, you may be required to go to the courthouse or police station to get a copy and they may or may not charge you a small fee.
This process varies by state, and as more states modernize their systems, these reports should be more easily obtained right on your state’s official website.
Ensure Your Coverage
If you were involved in an accident that was not your fault, it’s important that your insurance claim with the other person’ insurance provider is accepted, and that they cover all of your damages, especially costly medical bills. Consult with an auto accident lawyer in Tampa, FL, such as from Jeff Murphy Law, to ensure you approach this situation with all the resources necessary to settle your case fairly.