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Accident scene information can speed up car insurance claims

A car accident is a stressful situation for most drivers. Even a minor fender-bender can be infuriating. But keeping one's wits - and taking the right steps - can reduce stress in the long run and speed up the car insurance claims process.

The first order of business is to make sure no one has been injured. Assuming both drivers are okay, the next step is to exchange operator, vehicle and insurance information. Getting the right information in a timely matter to the insurer allows it to assess responsibility and quickly settle car insurance claims.

Drivers will need to exchange their names, addresses, telephone numbers and insurance information, experts say. The easiest way to share this information is to trade driver's licenses and insurance cards. Exchange information even if one driver doesn't plan to file a claim.

Experts also advise you to write down the license number, make, model and color of the other vehicle. If possible, make a simple diagram of the accident scene, including the positions of the vehicles.

Finally, most cell phones now have digital cameras. Take a picture of the damage on to the other vehicle.

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