Accidents can stress out even the most experienced driver. There is, however, certain information you need to obtain at the scene of the accident. Without exchanging information properly, it can be difficult to make an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver.
Hopefully, you had law enforcement come to the accident scene and take a report. If so, request a copy, since the police crash report should list the other driver and their insurance information, plus various other information you will need to make claims.
If you fail to exchange full information to obtain the person's insurance information and didn't have police come out either, then typically you will have to contact the person and ask for their insurance information, so you can make a claim.
If you didn't obtain their phone number and are unable to find it online, then you will likely have to stop by the person's home to get the information you need.
If you don't feel comfortable going to the person's home to get their car insurance information, you can contact the police with the information that you do have to see what options ther may be, such as contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles, which may have it on file.
Once you do get the auto insurance information for the driver, you can make your claims against their liability coverages. (See "Auto Accidents: What to do when it's not your fault.")
If you find out the other person was uninsured, then you would need to make a claim for your vehicle's damages through your own collision coverage, if you have it.
For future reference, when in a motor vehicle accident, you should exchange the following information with all drivers:
- Addresses - home and email if possible
- Phone number(s) - home and cell phone
Obtain the following information, for all the vehicles involved:
- Year, make, and model
- License plate number
- Insurance carrier
- Insurance policy number
- Insurance company claims phone number
From the responding police officer, ask for:
- Phone number
- Police report number
If your agent is not able to explain to you how to deal with your first car accident and resulting claims or fulfill your car insurance needs in general, contact a CarInsurance.com agent. Our agents can explain not only insurance terms and claim procedures, but also tell you how they can get you low cost car insurance.