With winter weather hitting the Dallas area, road conditions remain a problem for drivers. It's important to know the steps to take in the event of an accident.
1. Be prepared before it happens
- Take time to read your insurance policy and understand it. Know how much coverage your policy provides, such as, person injury protection (PIP).
- See step #5.
- Order or download our FREE book, Buying Car Insurance, to help protect you from irresponsible drivers in Texas.
2. Make sure everyone is OK, then call the police
- Move as far off the roadway as possible. Warn oncoming traffic by activating your hazard lights and/or setting flares if you have them.
- It is important to call the police because a police report will provide an official record of the accident. One of the most credible documents an insurer will use to determine fault is a police report.
3. Gather Information
- Do your best to get as many details of the accident as possible.
- Make sure to keep a pen and paper in your car to take down information.
Exchange the following information with the other driver:
- Telephone Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Insurance Company
- Insurance Policy Number
Write down the following information about the car accident:
- Location of accident (sketch a picture if needed)
- Description of other car (make, model, color, year, license plate number)
- Description of individuals involved in accident (including passengers)
- Of the damaged vehicles
- Of any injuries you sustained.
- Of the other vehicles license plate
Get witness information
- Get a name, address, and phone number for any/all witnesses at the scene.
- Witnesses will be able to back up your story to help prove your insurance claim.
4. Call your insurance company
- The sooner your insurance company knows about the accident, the sooner they can start working to resolve your claim.
5. Do not admit fault
- Don’t admit to any kind of liability on your part. Stick to the facts without expressing any opinion.
- It is not your job to admit fault, it is the job of the insurance investigators to gather all the necessary facts and evidence and then determine liability. The only people you want to talk about the accident are the police and your lawyer.
6. Keep track of records after your accident
- Keep a written account of any conversations and dealings with the insurance officers, agents, and any other people involved in the claims process.
- Save receipts and bills for any and all expenses relating to your insurance claim, bills for any repair work on the damaged vehicle, and also any medical costs incurred on the treatment of any injuries that are covered by your insurance policy.
Remember to be prepared and plan ahead. If you do happen to find yourself in an accident, you'll be glad you did.