What I Did When My Car Was Hit

Sep 20, 2018, 12:58 PM

Accidents happen; here's what you can do to help yourself after a collision.

I was in a car accident a few weeks ago. I was waiting to merge into traffic at a roundabout. It was afternoon rush hour, so there were cars constantly swirling past as I searched for an opening. A line of cars built up behind me at the roundabout entrance. The truck right behind me was close — too close.

As I looked to my left, hoping to see a way into traffic, the car jolted forward just a few inches. The truck smashed into my rear, scraping paint off the bumper and denting the edge of the trunk hood.

After a few minutes, the road cleared again and we were able to loop around the roundabout. We pulled in a restaurant parking lot. No one was hurt, fortunately, and the truck driver admitted he was at fault. He even suggested I talk to the police officer first when the cruiser arrived, so I could get home for dinner.

It wasn't this bad

If you do get in an accident, what happened to me is probably the best thing that could happen. But even though I wasn’t hurt, and didn’t have any significant damage to the car, I contacted my insurance company to let them know there was an accident. That’s what filing a claim is all about.

Hastings Mutual offers claim services right on our website. It’s a simple, straightforward process — but there’s a few things you should do even before you click on the link.

At The Scene

  1. If anyone in the accident is injured, seek immediate medical attention.
  2. Call the police to report the accident.
  3. If possible, take photos of any damage to your vehicle and any other damage caused by the accident.
  4. Report the incident to your independent insurance agent as soon as possible. They’ll help you connect with Hastings Mutual to complete the claim process.

Gather Information

If there are other drivers involved in the accident, exchange names, addresses, and insurance information. Write down the following:

  • Time, date and place of accident
  • Names and addresses of passengers and witnesses
  • License plate numbers of each vehicle in the accident

After The Incident

  1. Keep track of everyone you spoke to, including the day (and time) you spoke to them, and what you spoke about.
  2. Find out from your agent:
  • The time limit for filing your claim
  • The time limit for resolving claim disputes, if there is one
  • When you can expect the insurance company to follow up with you
  • Whether you need estimates for the damage to your vehicle
  • Whether your policy covers a rental car while your car is being repaired, and how much it covers 
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