Having an accident checklist makes all the difference in the world in making sure your insurance claim goes smoothly in the event of an accident. Making sure you get all the proper information is vital for your insurance adjuster. It helps them to establish and defend liability issues, as well as prevent insurance fraud. It’s a good idea to carry an “accident kit” in your car with important supplies to help you to record all the details. There are great accident kits available online as well as in your neighborhood auto parts store or you can make your own. A good accident kit should include:
You also need to collect the car and accident information:
It’s usually a good idea to have the police on the scene of any accident that will likely result in a considerable insurance claim or any situation where it may be difficult to decide who is at fault. In these cases it’s important to involve an official third party to make an assessment of the scene. Utilizing police officers is best when it comes to analyzing an accident scene and can also make a decision when it comes to who is at fault. While having a police officer on hand can be a big help, make sure that you don’t make any statement about who you think is at fault, especially if you think it may be you. Even though a police officer is going to record what he thinks of the accident in an official report, you still need to take down your own version of events for your records so that you can supply your insurance adjuster with as much information as possible.
Use the whole roll of film, even if you feel like you are taking redundant photos. Take pictures of all angles of the accident, both looking away from and towards the vehicles. Take pictures of any damage to the cars from several angles. Also take pictures of the other driver’s insurance forms, even after you’ve written down their information.
Measure the damage involved, including the size and location of any dents or other damage as well as how far the vehicles were apart when they came to rest. It’s a good idea to take pictures of the dents with the camera that includes the measuring tape in the frame. If there are skid marks involved, it is also a good idea to take pictures of them as well. Take a few that include the measuring tape for reference.
Ask any witnesses to write down their information as well as a statement about what they saw. Ask them if it’s ok if you take a picture of them to document where they were at the time of the accident. Getting these details on paper helps get the details straight as well as helping to jog their memory in case they need to make a further statement later on.
To make the best case for yourself when it comes time to make an insurance claim, document the accident as accurately as possible. If you are able to make a diagram of what happened, this will help with the court case or insurance claim.