Timely Reporting of an Accident is Key
How quickly an accident is reported can greatly impact the investigation of a claim. Delays in gathering information are detrimental. As time passes, an involved party’s version of events may change, witnesses may forget details, and the overall cost of a claim can be increased due to attorney involvement.
Why are some accidents not reported right away?
- “Our driver didn’t tell us.”
- “We wanted to wait until the police report was ready.”
- “We wanted to conduct our own review first.”
- “It wasn’t our fault.”
While there is some validity to these statements, the end result is the same: a delay in the insurance carrier’s investigation. Here are a few tips:
- Have accident reporting kits ready in your vehicles. They should provide specific instructions to follow at the scene as well as witness information cards.
- Pictures provide documentation, help claims adjusters, and can lower the overall cost of a claim.
- All accidents should be reported within five (5) days. However, we strongly recommend any accident involving an occupied vehicle be reported immediately.
Timely reporting helps ensure your interests are protected.
Photographing the Accident Scene Could Save a Driver’s Livelihood
No one wants to be inappropriately blamed for an accident. After ensuring everyone involved is safe, a driver should take a few minutes to photograph the scene. If in question, take a picture of it.
Use a cell phone or other electronic device, or stock vehicles with disposable cameras. Flashes are great for nighttime or low-light conditions. Here are some quick photography tips:
- Be safe.
- Enable time and date stamp on your device.
- Take photographs with and without flash.
- Take pictures from every angle of the scene, including close-ups and wide views.
- Include all vehicles involved.
- Include points of reference, like street signs and buildings.
- Photograph skid marks and debris.
- Include pictures of license plates of any vehicles involved, as well as those of witnesses.
- Photograph the environment, such as traffic control signs, road width, and blind spots.
- Include the road and any weather conditions affecting it.
In summary, timely accident reporting not only helps expedite the claims process, but can ensure the accuracy of the details surrounding the incident. Photographing the scene further ensures accuracy, which may save your driver’s livelihood.