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5 Things to Do After a Car Accident

How to Prepare for Filing Your Car Insurance Claim

Every year, an estimated 6 million accidents occur on roadways in the U.S. No one wants to get into a wreck or deal with the nuisance of an accident’s aftermath.

If you do get into an accident, make sure that you take precautions to protect yourself. Do this by understanding what your legal and contractual obligations are in the situation.

Some people may decide to work out a settlement with the other party. This involves inherent risks that you should understand before pursuing this option. Make that sure that everybody is on the same page.

If at any time one party wants to involve their insurance company, the chances are likely that yours will get involved as well.Prepare for the worst-case scenario even if you’re hoping for the best. Here are five things to keep in mind:

1. Think Safety First

After an accident, pull over to the side of the road if possible, check for injuries and call 911, if needed. If you’re a AAA member, consider if you will need emergency roadside assistance services.

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2. Get Necessary Information

If you’re able to handle the situation, you should go into fact-finding mode. Collect the following information.

  • Name, address, phone number of all drivers
  • Name, address, phone number of all passengers or witnesses
  • Driver’s license numbers and license-plate numbers
  • Insurance companies of all drivers involved
  • Registered owners of all cars
    Year, model, make, etc. of all cars involved

3. Limit Your Statements

You should avoid discussing the details of the accident with anyone but the police. Do not say the accident was your fault and avoid making accusations. These comments may be used against you.

4. Start Your Documentation

If you’re able, jot down what you believed happened during the accident, noting the time and road conditions. Take photos of the damage from all sides of your vehicle, as well as any other vehicles involved.

In the case of an unoccupied vehicle, try to locate the owner. If you’re unsuccessful, leave a note with your name and number, but also notify police.

5. Talk to Your Insurance Agent

Do you know if you are required to notify your insurance company or not? Talk with your insurance agent and get advice — even if you are planning to settle without filing an insurance claim.

– Written by Jim Davis

About AAA Washington:

As one of the largest leisure travel agencies in the state, AAA Washington has the most up-to-date information on travel bookings and trends. You do not have to be a AAA member to use our travel services. From taking a road trip to an around-the-world sail, our trusted experts offer personalized travel planning to ensure you find the best and safest ways to reach and enjoy your destination. Additional information is available at our stores in Washington and north Idaho or through www.AAA.com.

AAA Washington Media Contacts

Kelly Just | 425-647-1594
Twitter: @AAA_Washington
Facebook: AAA Washington

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Media Contact

Kelly Just

Public Affairs Manager
425-647-1594
KellyJust@aaawa.com

Location
Bellevue Corporate Office
3605 132nd Ave. SE
Bellevue, WA 98006

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