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How long after an accident can I report it to my insurance company?

It is recommended that immediately after an accident, you and the other parties involved should collect one another's insurance information in order to file a claim with your insurance company quickly. There are no legal ramifications for failing to report an accident within a specified time frame. However, the failure to file a claim with your insurance provider within days of your accident may hold certain consequences for the coverage they will be willing to extend to you. The time frame in which you have to report an accident to your insurer should be outlined within your policy. The time frame is written into your contract because of the laws within your state that your insurance company has to comply with. Most claims must be filed within a year of the occurrence; however, the failure to report the claim may render your compensation less than what it would normally be.

Although being involved in an automobile accident can be a harrowing experience, it is critical for you to maintain a level head. By following the policies and procedures for information gathering and filing a claim with your insurance company, you can avoid the hassle of potential problems down the road. After an accident occurs, any vehicles that are capable of being driven should be pulled over to the shoulder of the road. If you cannot do this, remain in your vehicle and attempt to turn on your hazard lights until medical personnel arrive. 

When all parties involved are sufficiently calm enough, you should exchange information with the other drivers involved. The information you should obtain includes a name, contact information, driver's license number, and the contact information for their insurance company. Make sure you jot down a detailed description of what took place for your own records. Memories can become fuzzy over time, and it is to your benefit to provide as accurate a description as possible. Attempt to locate any eyewitnesses so that their statements may be recorded by policy. 

You should also file a police report after an accident to have additional records of the event. If police officers arrive quickly enough at the scene of the accident, they might be able to determine who caused the collision based upon the evidence at hand. An officer will provide a copy of an accident to you which you should then submit to your insurance company. This will increase the speed with which your claim is processed. You should never admit fault to an accident, even if you are the cause of it. If you are struck by a motorist who is under the influence of alcohol or who ran a red light, he or she is liable to be arrested at the scene of the accident. Engaging in safe driving practices at all times is important. Traffic laws are in place to ensure your safety. Obey them. While you cannot control the actions of other drivers, your best defense is to be mindful of your own actions.


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