If you are in a car accident that causes injuries or property damage, then you will need to know how to file a claim with your insurance company. As with any insurance company, filing a claim with AAA insurance can become complicated. However, if you have been in a crash, or you just want to understand what to do if one occurs, the following information can prove helpful.
Immediately after a crash happens
The immediate aftermath of a vehicle crash is often confusing. The following steps are recommended by AAA:
- Contact the police immediately. Regardless of who is at fault in a crash, the police need to be called to the scene to ensure everyone is safe and to complete an accident report. The officer will document many of the facts you need for an insurance claim, including when and where the crash happened, identifying information for all parties involved, a description of what happened, and a preliminary assignment of fault for the crash.
- Seek medical attention. If you have been injured in a crash, the priority is receiving medical care. Never delay seeing a doctor after a car crash, as a delay can lead to complications when receiving insurance settlements.
- Collect evidence. While at the scene, if you are able to do so, take photographs of all vehicles, damages, injuries, and causes of the crash. Get the names and contact information or any eyewitnesses.
- Use AAA services. Most AAA members have access to a tow truck and will be able to get your vehicle to a repair shop of your choice. If your coverage includes a rental, ensure that AAA has one on the way to your location or your home.
Contacting your insurer
You need to inform your insurer about the incident as soon as possible. While the police report will not be immediately available, you can call the 1-800 number on your insurance card or file your claim online. During the initial filing, you will need your insurance policy number, driver’s license number, and other identifying information.
When you make the initial call, a AAA representative will explain the claims process to you. They may ask you a series of questions related to the crash. This will include details about how the incident happened, any injuries you incurred, and more.
You should consider speaking to a Riverside car accident attorney before giving substantial information to any insurance carrier. Yes, you should make the initial claim to your insurer as soon as possible, but giving them too much information, and too early in the process, could lead to issues concerning any settlement you are entitled to. AAA and other insurance carriers are not necessarily on your side, and it is best to consult with an attorney early in this process.
How often do car accidents occur in California?
Turning to statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), we can see that there were 273,069 total crash injuries and 3,602 total fatalities reported in the state during the latest reporting year. Not all accidents result in an injury or fatality. Many of them result in only property damage. However, nearly every accident that occurs in California must be reported to state authorities. They must also be reported to your insurer.