No matter how comfortable you might feel with understanding your auto insurance policy there is nothing more nerve racking than being involved in an auto accident and needing to file an insurance claim on your auto policy. If you are ever involved in an accident and need to file an auto insurance claim on your policy I recommend that you take these following steps at the scene of an auto accident.

  1. Stop immediately but do not obstruct traffic.
  2. Assist anyone who might be injured and have someone call the police.
  3. Get the other driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance carrier, insurance policy number & insurance carrier phone number. Also get the name’s and phone numbers of any witnesses as well.
  4. Make a rough drawing of the accident scene, showing the position of the cars involved and any other pertinent details. If you have a digital camera take pictures of the damage or if your cell phone has a camera use it to take photos of the scene.
  5. Contact our office, 503-296-0077, as soon as possible so we can assist you with filing your auto insurance claim. When you contact us remain calm and consistent with your version of how the accident occurred and provide us with the information that you gathered from the other drivers.
  1. When you file a claim against your auto policy you can expect that within 24 hours after filing the claim you will receive a call from a claims adjuster.
  2. I recommend that you don’t have the vehicle repaired before the insurance company claims adjuster has evaluated the vehicle’s damage. But do protect the vehicle from further damage (i.e., cover broken windows with plastic).
  3. The claims adjuster will schedule a time with you to review the damage from the accident that has taken place.
  4. Don’t find yourself pressured into accepting an estimate of repair until you have at least 2 comparisons on the estimates of work.
  1. It is advisable that before you sign an agreement accepting the insurance company’s estimate to complete repairs on your vehicle you make certain that the agreement is fair.
  2. If the cost to repair your vehicle exceeds its actual cash value, the vehicle will probably be considered a “total loss.” Insurance companies will determine the value of a vehicle by looking for nearly identical cars being sold through local dealers and private owners in the area.
    They will then adjust the numbers based on information about your car, such as its condition before the accident and any special equipment on the car. Insurer’s frequently come up with a value that is 10-20% less than retail values listed by Kelley or NADA.
In Oregon you must file an accident report with the police in conjunction with your auto claim if the following occurs:

 Damage to the vehicle you were driving is over $1,500.

 Damage to any vehicle is over $1,500 and any vehicle is towed from the scene as a result of damage from the accident.

 Injury or death resulted from the accident.

 Damages to any one person’s property other than a vehicle involved in this accident is over $1,500.

 You are the owner of the vehicle involved in a re-portable accident and the driver fails to report the accident.

 For a copy of an Oregon Traffic Accident & Insurance Report click here.