Auto Accidents Whether Great or Small, Report Them All!

June 09, 2020
By Joe Copeland and Makaelah Kaiser, TAC Claims Examiners
Risk Management News

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Being in an auto accident can be stressful. But knowing what to do if an accident occurs can make the situation more manageable and ensure a smooth claims process with the TAC Risk Management Pool (TAC RMP).

You have been involved in an accident, now what?

  • The first priority following an auto accident is to address any injuries that may have resulted from the collision. If anyone involved is injured or claims to be injured, make sure EMS is called to the scene.
  • Report the accident to the proper law enforcement agency. All accidents involving another person or vehicle (third party) should be reported regardless of the extent of the loss. This will help your claims examiner complete the liability investigation.
  • It is imperative to secure the scene to prevent any additional accidents. An example: If the county vehicle is stopped in the roadway and would be a danger to other vehicles, it should be moved if this can be done safely.
  • Promptly report the incident to the appropriate point of contact within your division as outlined through your county's protocol.

What kind of information do I need to obtain?

  • Document the accident scene. If it’s safe to do so, take photos of all vehicles involved before they are moved. Photos of the area in which the accident occurred are also beneficial. Injury claims can be filed even in minor accidents. The more photos the better!
  • Request insurance information from all parties involved as long as this can be done amicably. If the other party does not want to cooperate, allow law enforcement officers to obtain the information for you.
  • If there are witnesses to the loss, obtain their names and contact information. Witnesses often will not stay on the scene until law enforcement arrives, so be sure to collect and relay witness’ information to officers.
  • If the vehicle involved is equipped with dashcam surveillance, take proper steps to preserve the video.

What information should or should not be discussed?

  • It is not necessary to discuss fault with the other parties involved. Provide an honest statement about the events leading up to the collision to law enforcement when they arrive on the scene.
  • Avoid confrontations with other parties involved. Tensions can run high following an accident and sometimes people are upset or aggressive. It is not necessary to enter into a verbal confrontation. If you have coverage with TAC RMP, advise the other party that a claim will be promptly reported for further investigation and resolution.

What should be provided to TAC RMP in addition to the loss report?

Promptly provide all applicable information so that a first notice of loss form can be completed by your designated Pool coordinator or county representative. Claims can be reported online at www.county.org/fileaclaim or emailed to claims-cs@county.org.

Type of information to provide:

  • Investigating agency and crash report number.
  • Information about the other parties and vehicles involved.
  • Applicable insurance information from the other parties.
  • Internal statements that are completed per your county’s requirement.
  • Photos and in-car video.
  • Witness information.
  • The year, make and model of the county vehicle that was involved in the loss.
  • Location and point of contact for the vehicle.