After a Two-Car Crash
- Exchange information with the person driving the vehicle, including driver license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Take pictures of all damage to both cars.
- Count the number of people in the car. Get a name, address and telephone number for each one, not just the driver.
- Call the police, and if possible, have them come to the scene. Get a police report with the officer's name, even if the damage is minimal. This makes it more difficult for a criminal to damage the car later and try to collect a larger claim. Note that in cities where police are stretched thin, the police may not come to an accident scene unless there are injuries reported.
- Avoid people who suddenly appear at an accident scene and try to direct you to specific doctors or attorneys.
- Avoid people who offer you quick cash to fix your car.
- Be wary of tow truck drivers who recommend a specific auto repair facility without being asked.
- Demand detailed bills for any repairs or medical services. Keep all your receipts related to the accident.
- Make sure you get Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts at the repair shop.
- Be wary of physicians who insist that you file a personal injury claim after an accident, especially if you are not hurt.
- Never sign blank insurance claim forms.
For more tips, see "What To Do After a Car Accident." If you suspect auto insurance fraud, call the National Insurance Crime Bureau at (800) TEL-NICB (835-6422). They'll help you with next steps. Also report potential fraud to your state's fraud bureaus.