2. Take Pictures
Most phones have cameras now, so you don’t need to be toting a camera with you.
Also, take pictures of all the occupants of the other car, preferably while they are still in the vehicle – or at least while they are all still at the scene. This can also thwart a fraud scheme called ‘jump ins.’ In an attempt to get a bigger settlement, people known to the claimant come forward and say they were also in the car and also suffered injuries.
Take pictures of the site of the accident. Having photos of the cars on location can help you make your own case to the claims adjuster.
Write down the specifics of the location as well, for example: “The southwest corner of Bank and Broad streets, about three car lengths before the mailbox.”
3. Get witnesses’ information
If there are witnesses, get their names and addresses. Some may be reluctant; be persistent within reason.
4. Exchange information
Exchange information with the other driver. This information includes:
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Name of the other driver’s insurance company
- Policy number
- License plate number
If the driver is not the person named on the insurance card, find out and write down what the relationship is between the driver and that person; family, friend, employee. Write down the policyholder’s name, address and phone information, as well.
Finally, write down a complete description of the other car, including year, make, model and color.
5. Keep a lid on it
Under no circumstances tell the other driver, “It was all my fault,” even if you think it was.
Remember, there are people who stage accidents for the payoff, and you could have been positioned so that there was nothing else you could do. Even if it was a bona fide accident, let the experts determine blame – or lack thereof – when they work out the insurance compensation.