A car accident is never a laughing matter. Even after the accident itself is over, the repercussions can be felt for a long time afterward. For this reason, there are several steps you should follow after the car accident takes place, if you are physically capable and relatively unhurt, to improve your chances of succeeding in a property damage claim.

Firstly, you should make sure everyone involved is okay and then call the police. As long as no one gets hurt in the accident and everyone is cooperative, the police will likely do little more than file a report. This report is an important piece of evidence, and it will play a major part in the decision making when the incident is reviewed by an insurance company. If the police don’t consider the accident to be major enough for them to come out to the scene of the accident, you could also compose your own statement about the incident. Although they could be potentially useful since they are an official statement by you regarding the accident, these “unofficial reports” are merely your personal account of the incident and may not hold as much weight as a police report.

Recording information to prove your claim is legitimate should be your next order of business. If you are looking to be prepared for a car accident, should it happen, then you can take down a list of information that you should make sure you have before you proceed further. Information that you should take note of includes, but is not limited to, the date, time, location, injuries, license numbers, and license plates.

 Additionally, taking a few pictures or videos is a good way to strengthen your position. Having a record of the scene as it existed after the accident might help straighten out some of the details after the wreckage is cleared away, and you can reference the photos or video if you are talking about a specific kind of damage to your property. If there is information specific to this accident, up to and including the name of a police officer that arrives at the scene of the accident, you should probably take note of it. It is also at this time that you might contact a car accident injury attorney, should you require their services.

Contacting all of the proper insurance agencies should be your next step after that. You should always inform your insurance company if an accident occurs, no matter how minor it was. Usually, an insurance company will have a clause in the insurance policy that requires you to notify them and they will provide their services contingent upon their prompt notification. After this is done, you should file a claim with the insurance company of the other driver. You will then be issued a claim number and referred to a claim adjuster. It is at this point that you should discuss all of the property damage that has resulted from the accident, which includes property damage to individual items damaged in the accident besides the car like glasses or an iPhone. That way, you can justify enough cash compensation to repair an iPhone screen, for example, should the iPhone have been collateral damage to the car crash.

Additional steps can be taken, like requesting a rental car to drive while your car is inoperable. The coverage included in individual insurance policies can vary, so it is important that you discuss the details with your insurance agency and that you understand the terms of your policy before any crash occurs. It might be impossible to prepare for every possible eventuality, but making sure you at least have a plan to start with will make the process of adapting easier.