What Happens If I’m in an Auto Accident and My Story Doesn’t Match the Other Driver’s Story?
Stories are great. Mismatching stories after an auto accident, however, can be problematic. What happens if your story conflicts with the other driver’s story? Auto accidents are often quick and stressful, and it is common for drivers to remember events differently. Here are some tips to help make sure your account of the accident makes sense and you are able to accurately explain what happened:
Call 911 and file a police report, regardless of injury or property damage. This will ensure there is a record of the accident and any vehicle damage or injuries. It will also ensure assistance is provided if needed.
Take pictures or video of the accident scene with your cell phone, including both cars, even if there is no damage to your vehicle or the other driver’s vehicle. In addition, take a picture of mile markers or some other identifying object to note where the accident occurred. If other circumstances contributed to the accident such as excessive traffic, road construction, or temporary signage, taking pictures of these conditions can also help explain how the accident occurred. Always be aware of your surroundings and do not attempt to take photos in areas that are not safe such as freeways, icy roads, or in road construction zones.
If there are witnesses to the accident, make sure to write down their contact information (name, phone number, and email). An impartial third party could be crucial to helping provide details to the police or insurance companies.
Check for video cameras. Are you at an intersection or in a parking lot with cameras? If so, make note of this. It is important to obtain footage as soon as possible, as tapes can often be recorded over after a certain amount of time.
A Western National Claims Representative will investigate the accident. If the drivers’ stories conflict, the Claims Representative will attempt to reconcile the stories and the physical evidence by considering:
The drivers’ accounts of the accident
Photos or video
The police report
The physical damage on the vehicles
The scene of the accident
Other factors that may be relevant
If your story does not match the other driver’s story and there is no corroborating evidence for either account, it is possible that neither driver could recover their damages from the other. First party physical damage insurance (if purchased) is available to pay for the insured’s damage even if the insured driver does not have enough evidence to recover from the other driver.
Note: It is important to notify Western National or your Independent Insurance Agent of all accidents, regardless of fault and even if property damage is minor.
To report a claim with Western National: Call (855) 921-3164. You can also visit www.wnins.com, use the “Report a Claim” feature on our Mobile App (available in iTunes and Google Play app stores), or contact your Independent Insurance Agent.