As soon as possible after any accident, you should contact your insurance company or agent. You should be aware that your insurance company may record your telephone call or verbal report of what happened, and you should always request a written transcript of your statement for your personal records. Your insurance company must provide this transcript to you upon request and without charge.
It may take your insurance company/agent several days to get back to you with a claim number. The claim number is very important: Be sure to write it down, and repeat it back to the agent to verify that you copied it correctly. If your insurance company takes longer than a week to assign a claim number, or is not forthcoming on the reasons for the delay, you may wish to consult an attorney to further protect your rights.
Reputable collision repair facilities will require a claim number to begin repair of your vehicle. Be wary of companies offering to begin repairs without the proper paperwork.
It is not advisable to accept a settlement check from your insurance company or the insurance company of another driver involved the accident, until you are certain that it covers all the necessary repairs to your vehicle. If you are being pressured by an insurance company to settle prior to receipt of detailed repair estimates, you may wish to consult an attorney.