Print out this page and keep it in your glove box. Should you get in an accident, you'll know what to do to make sure your claim goes smoothly.
For your auto claim
- Collect Driver Information: Obtain and exchange names, license numbers, tag numbers, insurance company names, policy numbers, phone number and addresses with all other drivers involved.
- Photographs: Take photographs of the damages to all vehicles and the site of the accident in general. If you have any obvious injuries immediately following the crash, try to take pictures of the injured area.
- Police Report: Get a copy of the accident report if police are involved. Take note of the responding officerʼs name which police station responded.
- Witnesses: Keep a record of all name, addressed, phone numbers and email addresses of any witnesses who are willing to offer assistance.
For a personal injury claim
- Medical Expenses: Log all visits to your doctor as a result of the accident. Keep track of any prescriptions, over the counter medications, lab tests, physical therapy, x-rays, or any other medical expenses that incur as a result of your accident. Include the names of the treatments, the doctors involved, dates of visits, and amount charged.
- Lost Work Time: Keep a log of all time taken off or lost from work as a result of the accident. Get a letter from your employer verifying any time or pay lost.
- Lost School Time: If you are a student, document all time lost from school and/or inability to complete schoolwork as a result of your injuries. Get a letter from the school confirming your lost time.
- Photographs: Continue to take photographs of your injuries after the accident, particularly if they get worse. Make note of the dates on the back of each photo.
- Witnesses: Contact any witnesses who consented to give contact information. Ask them for written statements. Make sure to do this before too much time lapses so that their memories of the accident are fresh.
- Daily Life: Keep a record of any daily discomfort, pain, emotional distress, fatigue, tenderness, inconvenience, etc as a result of the accident. Document how they have interfered with your daily life.
- Out of pocket expenses: Keep a record of all non-insurance covered expenses that you have had to cover as a result of the accident. For example, ACE bandages, child-care expenses, cancellation of a vacation, taxi service, rental car, etc.
- Seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY after an accident.
- Do not admit fault in the accident. Let it be professionally determined who was to blame.
- Follow through with all medical treatments.
- Do not answer any questions from anyone elseʼs insurance company or attorney. NEVER sign any forms without approval of your attorney.
- Do not settle your case until all necessary medical expenses, present and future, are known.
- Keep copies of EVERYTHING.