Car accidents are a common occurrence. States such as Illinois and Missouri are at-fault accident states, meaning one driver will pay up. If you rear-end a vehicle, unless there is evidence the driver in front was being reckless or driving unsafely, the law sees you as responsible for the accident by default.
One of the crucial steps in any accident process is filing a claim with the insurance company. Before speaking to an insurance adjuster, there are a few things you should know.
1. Recorded statement
The first thing an insurance adjuster will request is a recorded statement. This is a 15- to 20-minute process whereby the adjuster asks a series of standard questions such as what the weather was like and where the accident took place and how fast each driver was traveling. The recorded statement helps determine who caused the accident.
2. Find witnesses
The police may not respond to an accident without injuries. They will instruct each driver to exchange driver’s licenses and insurance information. While this may get you on your way quicker, it does pose a problem in terms of liability. If possible, identify witnesses to the accident and get their information. Some people may not want to get involved; however, it is always better to have a third-party account of the incident. Insurance companies do not consider passengers in the involved cars to be witnesses.
3. Photographs and videos
Take plenty of pictures and even videos of the accident directly after it happens. Make sure to capture the exact spot the collision occurred before moving out of the way. These pictures are crucial evidence in helping the insurance adjuster determine liability and the exact cause of the accident.
Speaking to an insurance representative may seem scary, especially directly after a collision. The best thing you can do is know the facts and prepare for the conversation in advance. Motor vehicle accidents can result in loss of property and severe injuries. Determining who is at fault is an important step in getting the claim resolved.