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  • Writer's pictureDerek Carroll

What to do after I've been involved in a car accident???

As your insurance agent I hope you never have to use your insurance. The hassle of filing a claim, getting your car fixed, arranging a rental vehicle, and the financial impact make a car accident a big pain in the rear. However, this is the reason you purchased an auto insurance policy in the first place, to take care of you when times are tough. We are proud to stand behind our clients during these tough times. When you file a claim it is our time to take over and take as much worry off your plate as possible. When things take a turn for the worse we are here to provide advice and recommendations to get your auto insurance claim processed quickly!

We want to make sure that after an accident you are prepared and know what to do when your nerves are a wreck so you can safely handle the moments right after the accident. For that reason we'd like to give some pointers and advice:

1) Safety First: Stop immediately but do not obstruct traffic. If your accident left you in an area that isn't safe be sure to move to a safe area out of harm's way. Turning your hazard lights on is also a great idea to warn oncoming traffic. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and take a few deep breaths, be sure to remain calm and courteous with the other parties.

2) Get out of your car and assist any injured parties. Check to make sure they are alright and call 9-1-1 if anyone is injured.

3) Contact the police. Even in the event of a minor accident a police report can be vital later when dealing with your insurance company and the other parties' insurance company.

4) Gather as much information about the other parties involved as possible. Be sure to get make, model, and license plate numbers of the other vehicles. Get the other driver's information as well, this includes name, address, phone number, and insurance information. Ask the other party if you can see their driver's license, this will help guarantee that they have given you accurate information (maybe even snap a picture if they allow it). When they provide a phone number try and call it right away to make sure their phone rings. If there is an eye witness be sure to get their information as well.

5) Document the accident. Make a rough drawing of the scene showing the path of the other vehicles. We recommend taking plenty of photos that you can later provide the insurance company if necessary.

6) DO NOT accept claim settlements at the scene of the accident. Take the proper steps of turning in a claim. Also, never admit fault at the scene of the accident, you may be at fault and truly feel that it is your fault, but leave that to the insurance adjusters. If it is your fault , you will be able to take responsibility during the claims process.

7) File your insurance claim. We'll talk more about how the claim will be handled and what then next steps of the process look like.

While at the scene remember that safety first is the most important thing to remember after an accident. Once safety is taken care of it is vital that you gather information and file a claim. You can give our agency a call at (815) 244-1570 to quickly notify us of a claim and one of our insurance professionals can guide you through the process. Remember accidents happen and that is why you purchased an Illinois auto insurance policy from Clark Carroll Insurance Agency.

Be sure to stop by either our Mt. Carroll or Lanark offices to pick up a complimentary Auto Insurance ID Card holder. They come with a reminder of what to do after a claim as well as offer our contact information so you can get your claim submitted as soon as possible.

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