Tips for Reporting a Car Accident to Your Insurance Company
When you report a car accident to your insurance company, it’s important to know what information to give them even before you consult a motor vehicle accident lawyer Santa Monica CA motorists trust. Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers is an excellent resource when you need to find reputable legal guidance after suffering a personal injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
Here are some tips for what to do, and not do, after you’re involved in accident:
What to Collect While Still at the Accident Scene
It’s important that you collect information about the accident as soon as you’re able to do so, or these details could be lost. If you’re injured, you may need help at the scene to get the information you need. A cell phone with a built-in camera is handy, because it will allow you to take photographs of some of the below documentation.
Write down or photograph the following:
- The other driver’s name as it appears on their driver’s license
- The other driver’s current mailing address
- The other driver’s insurance company name and phone number
- The names and addresses of any passengers
- Witness names and addresses
- The make, model, and year of all vehicles involved in the crash (if possible, take photos of the vehicles as well)
Report the Accident
Before calling your insurance agency, collect your notes, and be prepared to take more notes while you’re on the phone. Don’t give them more information than is absolutely necessary. A motor vehicle accident lawyer Santa Monica CA turns to for legal representation may offer more specifics as it relates to your case, but here are some general guidelines:
- If you were injured in the accident, until you have seen a medical doctor, you may not know the extent of your injuries. Do not offer the insurance company a prognosis of your injury, and do not detail your symptoms. Simply tell them that you’ll contact them after you’ve seen a doctor.
- Do not offer additional information beyond the facts. Do not volunteer information if you’re not asked for it. Anything you say may be used against you, even by your own insurance company, if it can establish that you were negligent. Their goal is to pay as little as possible or nothing at all. It may be helpful to write down the essential facts of the accident and read them over the phone. If you speak with a motor vehicle accident lawyer in Santa Monica CA before talking to the insurance company, ask for specifics on what you can safely say.
- Decline their request to record your statement. This is to help prevent them from using your statement against you later in court. A top motor vehicle accident lawyer Santa Monica CA has to offer will likely tell you that a recorded statement from you may not be legally required.
- Do not immediately accept a settlement offer. The insurance company may try to pressure you into accepting a less than fair settlement. Your Santa Monica CA motor vehicle accident lawyer can review the settlement and make a recommendation as to whether or not you should accept it. When you retain an attorney, he or she may be able to negotiate a higher settlement amount on your behalf.
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, start your research immediately to find a motor vehicle accident lawyer Santa Monica CA motorists respect.