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An excerpt from "Automobile Insurance Made Easy" a publication provided by The Texas Department of Insurance. View the entire publication on TDI's website.

Accident Checklist

Move your car, if possible, to avoid blocking traffic and to protect it from further loss or damage.

Call the police if somebody is injured or killed, if a vehicle can't be moved, or if the accident involved a hit-and-run driver. Your uninsured motorist coverage pays for a hit-and-run accident only if you report the accident to the police.

Get the other driver's name, address, telephone number, license plate number, driver's license number, and insurance information. Give the other driver the same information about you.

Record the insurance company name and the policy number exactly as shown on the other driver's proof-of-insurance card. Similar company names can cause confusion, so make sure you write down the correct company name. Get the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.

Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Your company probably has a 1-800 number to report claims. If not, call your agent. Some agents have authority to settle small claims. The agent or company will advise you about seeing an adjuster and getting repair estimates. Also, give your agent or company the names and addresses of any witnesses and injured persons.

If you reported your claim by phone, be sure to follow up in writing as soon as possible to protect your rights under Texas' prompt payment of claims laws.

Send the company copies of the accident report and any legal papers you receive about the accident.

Cooperate with the company's investigation. You might have to submit a proof-of-loss form and undergo a medical examination.

If the other driver refuses to tell you his or her insurance company, get a copy of the police accident report. The accident report will list the other driver's name and insurance company. If the police did not investigate the accident, you can report the driver's refusal to the police. This could result in a report identifying the driver's insurance company. In addition, the Department of Public Safety keeps files of forms - called SR-22s - that show the insurance companies of people convicted of DWI or driving without insurance. DPS will advise you how to find out if the driver has an SR-22 on file and the name of his or her insurance company. You may also request the information by calling 512-424-2600

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