If You're in a Car Accident, This Is the One Thing You Must Do ASAP – The Motley Fool

If you’re on a Galaxy Fold, consider unfolding your phone or viewing it in full screen to best optimize your experience.
Credit Cards
Small Business
by Christy Bieber | Updated Aug. 9, 2022 – First published on July 8, 2022
Image source: Getty Images
Neglecting to do this could cost you. 
Check out our picks for best car insurance companies
After a car accident, it’s crucial to take steps to protect the health of victims, including seeing a doctor ASAP if there is any reason to suspect injuries. But there’s also one other task to do after a crash that many people forget about — or don’t realize is important — if they were not the person who caused the collision to occur. 
Anyone who is involved in an auto accident should be sure to contact their auto insurance as soon as possible. 
The accident should be reported right away to the insurance claims hotline, even if the collision seems like it is a minor one, or even if it seems like another driver’s insurance will be responsible for covering the costs. If the other driver offers to pay personally for the damage to avoid an insurance claim, it is still important even in this situation for those involved in the accident to alert their own insurer. 

Providing notice of an accident to an insurer is crucial to make certain insurance coverage is there if and when it is needed. If it turns out that fault is disputed and another driver tries to collect, auto insurance may need to pay for a legal defense — or pay out damages. Or if it turns out injuries are more serious than expected, or that the other driver doesn’t have sufficient money or insurance to cover injuries or property damage, then it would be crucial for the victim to be able to get the bills paid by their own insurer. 
It is simply not worth taking the risk of uncompensated losses when paying for accident claims is the entire purpose of buying auto insurance in the first place. Always report the crash to preserve the right to make a claim so the insurance company will have no excuse not to pay as promised if necessary.
Crash victims should not only alert their insurer, but should also do all they can to make certain they get the full amount of money they deserve.

More: Check out our picks for best car insurance companies
Going to see a doctor to get a comprehensive diagnosis and have injuries documented is important in case insurance needs to pay for care. Getting the names of witnesses at the crash scene can come in handy in case of a dispute over who is to blame. And calling the police is a good idea so there is a report about what happened that can help resolve controversy over fault. Finally, crash victims should be sure to take pictures of their vehicles and of the accident scene. 
By gathering as much information as possible at the scene of the crash, drivers will be well-prepared to provide any information their insurer asks for during the claims handling process. Armed with these details, crash victims should follow their insurance company’s process for reporting the crash right away so they can be confident their insurer will have their back no matter what surprises come up in the accident’s aftermath.

Ready to shop for car insurance? Whether you’re focused on price, claims handling, or customer service, we've researched insurers nationwide to provide our best-in-class picks for car insurance coverage. Read our free expert review today to get started.
Christy Bieber is a personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured on major outlets including MSN Money, CNBC, and USA Today.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
Related Articles
Best Car Insurance
Best Cheap Auto Insurance
Car Insurance Quotes
Compare Car Insurance Rates
Best Car Insurance
Best Cheap Auto Insurance
Car Insurance Quotes
Compare Car Insurance Rates
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 – 2023 The Ascent. All rights reserved.