Sunday, January 14, 2007

When in an accident...

Today at lunch, one of the people I was sitting with works for the provincial automobile insurance corporation as an adjuster. In other words, he's the one processing the accident claim.

A good part of his job requires that he talk to the parties in the accident to ascertain what has happened. I'm certain he's heard about every cock-and-bull story about 100 times over as he's been doing this for many years. He's certainly picked up a knack for picking out people who are trying to lie their way out of a at-fault accident.

So while we were having lunch, I got some really good tips as to what to do when you're involved in an accident. And he actually recommended that you do them in this order:
  1. Find a witness and get his/her name and phone number right away. Witnesses don't need to be around for the rest of the time, and you can certainly put them in contact with the insurance company later on. (However, a witness isn't necessary if you're at fault; you certainly don't need help digging your hole, ha).
  2. Write down the other person(s) license plates. A quick way is to take pictures with a digital camera or a cell phone camera. This is a good idea especially if the police is involved. You will need this information as the insurance company typically don't get the police report, and to request one will take a long time. The insurance company can track the other person down much faster if you have a least a license plate number.
  3. Make sure you write down the important information from the other people, and don't let someone write their information and give it to you. That person may give you bogus information. My friend has seen this happen to people, and they are usually out of luck if this happens.

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