Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

Full Bio →

Written by

Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 7, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right car insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our car insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different car insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Key takeaways...

  • Acquire all the necessary information to report the accident accurately
  • Make sure that your claim is reported to the other driver’s insurance company
  • Consider purchasing uninsured/underinsured auto insurance to help cover the other person’s lack of coverage

Filing a claim on an auto insurance policy should be fairly straightforward. The driver calls their car insurance company, reports the accident and loss, and then waits for the investigation and claims processes to be completed.

What happens, however, when another driver crashes into your vehicle?

If the driver carries sufficient auto liability insurance, you would simply need to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance.

Looking to make sure your car is sufficiently covered? Enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four policies today!

Table of Contents

Follow the Appropriate Steps After an Accident

AdobeStock_51089237-1600x1600

Compiling basic facts and information about the accident becomes necessary to file a claim effectively. You will need:

  • The name of the driver
  • Their insurance company’s name
  • The policy number

It would also be helpful for you to collect other common items suggested after an accident occurs such as:

  • Witnesses’ contact information
  • Photographs of the accident
  • police report

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Speaking with the Insurance Company

dollarphotoclub_84476199-1600x1600

The idea of filing a claim with another party’s insurance company may seem daunting, but it shouldn’t be. The insurance company takes in a lot of third-party claims. Calling in a claim should be a relatively basic process.

Once you report the claim, an investigation by an insurance adjuster will likely be the next step.

The adjuster’s ultimate job is to determine how much the settlement is worth, and in virtually every case, the adjuster will require proof of any claims you make regarding the severity of the accident and potential injuries involved.

Someone asking for medical bill reimbursements, for example, will be required to present receipts and records proving that the injuries were a direct result of the car accident.

The same would be true of damage and repairs to a vehicle.

Avoid Any Delays

Depositphotos_5777755_original-1600x1600

It is in your best interest to file your claim promptly without much delay. Delays increase the chances of the claim being denied.

Quickly filing the claim does not mean being sloppy, so you need to be sure everything is in order when the time comes to file a claim.

All information needs to be meticulously presented in order to submit the claim without errors.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Contacting Your Own Insurance Company

If the claim is being filed against the other party’s insurance company, why should you place a call to your own company?

Even though your insurance company may not be directly involved in the process, they are likely to be a decent source of advice concerning the overall process.

The customer service or claims representative you speak to can describe the process so that you understand it clearly.

Depending on the policy, a customer may be required to inform their insurance company that they were injured even when another driver is at fault.

Always make sure you understand the requirements associated with your insurance policy so that you respond appropriately after an accident.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Retaining an Attorney

AdobeStock_65977052-1600x1600 (2)

In the aftermath of a serious accident, contacting an attorney might be in your best interest.

Civil litigation may focus on personal injury, property damage, or both. A wrongful death could also factor into a civil suit if someone died during the accident.

Legal representation may be beneficial in such complicated situations.

Hiring an attorney costs money, and the payment may come out of the settlement.

Rather than fretting over attorney fees, think about the expertise you’d be gaining in the process and weigh the pros and cons to determine whether you truly need an attorney.

The Uninsured Motorist

AdobeStock_66413216-1600x1600

If the driver you’re filing the claim against is not carrying enough insurance — or any insurance at all — you are in an entirely different situation as you cannot file a claim.

Hiring an attorney may be unavoidable in this situation since suing the driver in court would be the only way for you to collect restitution. And that is only if money is available to be collected.

If the negligent driver has little or no assets, then a lawsuit might not do you much good.

The person’s financial situation may change in the future and would be subject to a lien, but that’s still not a very helpful scenario when you want results immediately.

For this reason, if you do not currently have uninsured/underinsured coverage on your policy, you may want to consider it as an option to protect you against the above scenario.

Prepare for All Scenarios

AdobeStock_92667970 (1)-1600x1600 (15)

Comparing several policy quotes to find good deals on uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, auto liability, and more is always a good idea.

Learning what to do if you’re ever the victim of an auto accident is prudent.

Being prepared includes not only how to file a third-party claim but also what the requirements are with one’s own insurance provider when you are involved in an accident.

Want to be prepared in case you face a car accident? Enter your ZIP code below and start comparison shopping today for better auto insurance rates!