The 10-step guide can help make the moments after an accident less stressful
All automobile accidents are stressful. Even if you’re not physically hurt, you’ll likely feel a degree of emotional trauma. What you’ll also likely have is vehicular damage. Here is a quick, 10-step guide that will help to make the moments after a car accident less chaotic.
#1 Assess Your Physical Condition
If you are hurt, call 911 immediately. Also, try to get the attention of others to assist you.
#2 Turn on Emergency Flashers
If you are able to move, turn on your car’s emergency flashers to warn other drivers of your situation.
#3 Move Your Vehicle to a Safe Spot If Necessary
If your car accident happened on a busy thoroughfare, it would be wise to move the car to a safer spot if it is drivable.
#4 Check the Physical Condition of Others
Make sure that others who were involved in the accident are okay. If they are not, call 911 for them immediately.
#5 Call the Police
The police should be called to inspect car accidents because they provide reports that insurance companies use to determine fault and assess claims. Some localities have non-emergency numbers for accident victims to call when they want police officers to write up accident reports. If no such number exists, call 911.
#6 Inspect and Document All Damage to Persons and Property Involved in the Accident
While waiting for the police to arrive, determine the damage to both vehicles and take pictures. When the police officer writes up the accident report based upon input from all associated parties, use your phone’s recording function to capture the questions and answers given by everyone. Having this information may be important if you need an attorney’s help.
#7 Get Contact Information for Any Eyewitnesses to the Accident
Although many streets are equipped with sophisticated surveillance systems, others may not be. In these cases, submitting the name and phone numbers of eyewitnesses to insurance companies is helpful.
#8 Contact Insurance Company to Initiate a Claim
The fastest way to get your life back to normal after an auto accident is to contact your own insurance company and initiate a claim. The information items that you need such as your insurance policy number and car VIN are usually located on your insurance card.
#9 Identify Reputable Auto Body Repair and Collision Shops
While insurance companies can suggest their preferred auto repair and body shop facilities, the final choice is usually up to the car owner. Before settling on a shop that was suggested by the insurance company, enlist the help of the internet and your peers to find out about the best shops in your area. Look for excellent ratings and consumer reviews on sites such as Angie’s List, Carwise.com and Yelp. Choose a shop that has a variety of services such as body, paint and glass repairs that are performed by certified technicians. You’ll likely know that you have a winner if the shop guarantees its repair in writing.
#10 Acquire Alternate Transportation
Usually a person decides to rent a car while their vehicle undergoes repairs. If you have the appropriate policy, your insurance company will pick up the cost of your rental car. If the accident was in no way your fault, the other drivers’ insurance company will likely cut you a check for your rental car expenses. Some full-service body shops also assist their customers with rental vehicles as a courtesy.