Reporting an accident promptly is very important after a car wreck. Your insurer needs to know about the collision so it can begin investigating any claim made against you. Let’s say you are involved in a sideswipe on the highway. The other driver might claim that you are to blame, so they will make a claim against you with your insurer. You need to contact your insurer and notify them of the accident so they will be prepared for it.
Also, if you were not to blame for the crash, then your insurance company wants to establish that fact so they do not pay compensation to others involved in the wreck. You should notify your insurer so they can begin building a case on your behalf.
Your Obligation to Notify Your Insurer
Insurance policies are contracts, and your obligations can be found in the contract. Take out your policy and read it. It should tell you how long you have to report a car accident. There is no general law in Colorado to this effect; instead, the deadline is whatever you agreed to with your insurance company. If you go past this deadline, then don’t be surprised if your insurer refuses any claim.
As a good rule of thumb, you should report the accident as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of the crash. You might be badly injured and in the hospital unconscious. In this type of extreme example, family or friends could report the accident for you. They can find a number to call in your insurance policy or on the proof of insurance that you keep on your car.
Insurers have made it easier over the years to begin claims. You can often use an app or report an accident online. If so, then you can notify your insurer of the accident while at the scene of the accident.
Information to Get for Your Insurer
You might be badly shaken after the accident. Your insurer knows that. Every insurer is different with respect to the amount of information they want from you when you initially report the accident. Some want only basic information but will have a claims adjuster follow up later to go into more detail about what happened. Other insurers might want you to give a short narrative about how the accident happened when you first report the wreck.
Helpful information to have includes:
- Date, time, and location of the crash
- If a police officer came out and wrote a police report
- The police report number, if you have it on you
- The names of all other drivers involved in the accident
- Insurance information for all other drivers
- Names and contact information for any witnesses
With luck, you gathered this information at the scene of the crash. Share with your insurer what you have.
For help filing a claim for compensation, contact the Grand Junction auto accident lawyers at the Cimarron Ridge Legal Group. We have assisted many injured motorists in claims for compensation and are not afraid to go into court to defend your rights. We offer a free consultation to those who reach out today.