Statistics show that the average driver in the U.S. will be involved in a crash and file an insurance claim
every 17.9 years. With approximately 2 million people suffering injuries in car accidents each year, it’s
essential to know how to respond if you are involved in an accident.
Most people have never been involved in an auto accident and don’t know how to deal with insurance
companies. Insurance companies bank on that. That’s why it is crucial to speak with an experienced auto
accident attorney as soon as possible after the incident. They can handle the interactions with your
insurance company and the other driver’s carrier.
What should I do at the scene?
Remain at the scene.
Check the condition of any passengers in your vehicle.
Move your vehicle to the side of the road, if safe to do so.
Call the police and if needed, make sure emergency medical personnel are dispatched to assist the
If possible, take photos of your vehicle, the accident site, skid marks, etc.
Exchange information with the other driver(s) of autos involved in the accident.
Get names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any eyewitnesses to the accident.
Do not admit fault.
How do I report an accident?
Within 24 hours, call your insurance company and report the accident.
Do not let the other driver try to convince you not to get the insurance companies involved. The at-fault
driver may offer to pay your repair bills if you don’t call the police. Don’t agree. That driver could change
their mind after leaving the scene. Without a police report documenting the incident, you will have a
hard time proving the other driver was at fault and getting compensation from their insurance company.
It will be a “he said,” “she said” situation.
What do I say to the insurance adjuster?
If you remember only one thing when dealing with insurance company, just know that insurance
adjusters are not on your side no matter how friendly they seem. Their goal is to pay you as little as
possible. Insurance adjusters may try and get you to admit the accident was your fault. You need to be
Once again, we recommend you speak with an attorney first and let them handle dealing with the
insurance company. If the insurance company contacts you prior to hiring an attorney, inform them of
the accident but don’t go into details of what happened. Avoid statements where you admit partial
fault. Don’t admit you aren’t hurt because you may not be experiencing any symptoms of injuries right
after the accident, but may in the following days or weeks.
Do I have to talk with the other driver’s insurance company?
In most cases, the other driver’s insurance company will try to contact you to ask questions and get your
side of the story. While you should always report the accident to your carrier, you are not legally
required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. This is especially important if anyone in
the accident sustained severe injuries.
If the accident involved injuries and someone else was at fault, you should always consult with a
personal injury attorney before speaking with the other driver’s insurance carrier.
Should I agree to let my statement or conversation be recorded?
The insurance company may want to record your statement or have you sign a written statement. We
recommend that you not sign anything or agree to a recorded statement until you have consulted with a
legal representative. After consulting with an attorney, this can be addressed once again.
The insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I agree to it?
The aftermath of an accident can be stressful, especially if you have suffered serious injuries. Some
insurance companies will try to pressure you to accept a settlement as quickly as possible. These
settlements are typically a fraction of the value of an injury claim. Do not sign anything or accept a
settlement until you have consulted with an attorney.
Dealing with insurance companies, along with your injuries and property damage can leave you feeling
overwhelmed. Let an experienced auto accident attorney at Traut Firm handle all the details of your
case and handle dealing with insurance companies. Call us at 714-798-4931 to schedule your free, no
obligation consultation today.