Your Guide on What to Do After A Car Accident

11th October 2019

Car accidents are a common sight on the roads but it can still be difficult to act wisely when you’re one of the drivers involved in a car crash. Around six million car accidents take place in the United States annually and, as you’ve probably realized, anything can happen when you’re driving, so it is important to be prepared every time you get behind the wheel. There is a lot to think about before you take your vehicle to an auto service for repair.  If you get into a car accident, don’t give in to panic. Instead, follow our simple tips for what to do in a car accident.

Before we give you a list of things to do, it may be helpful to know some key car accident statistics. 

First Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

Your first responsibility after a car crash is to stop and ensure everyone is safe. Check to make sure you aren’t seriously injured before checking on the occupants of your car and those in any other vehicles. You then need to call 911 and report the collision. The police report could prove to be invaluable later on and you may be legally required to call the police in some instances. Even if there are no injuries, your insurance company may need a police report when you file your car accident claim.

Remember to exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved but don’t engage in any discussion about the crash.  Refrain from apologizing or accepting blame for the accident even if you think it was your fault. As soon as possible, write down as many details as you can remember.

You must also take steps to warn other road users about the car accident by putting on your vehicle’s hazard lights. If you have road flares or emergency warning triangles, these should be placed on the ground while you wait for the police to arrive. It is also helpful to have a flashlight in case your lights aren’t working after the car crash and you need to wait at the side of the road. If you are physically able, you should take photos of the car accident scene so you have evidence of what occurred. If you need to file an insurance claim or go after someone in court, you’ll need evidence. Try to stay as calm as possible throughout the process.

What to Do After an Accident: How to Deal With Insurance

After you call 911 and report the car accident, contact your insurance company and begin working with a claims specialist. They will guide you through the necessary steps and tell you the information you need to provide. If the car can’t be driven after the collision, your insurance company may help you arrange for a tow truck and even a rental car. It all depends on the type of coverage you have but it never hurts to call and ask about what kind of assistance you can get after a car crash. You don’t want to spend money on a service that is already included in your policy.

After you report the car accident to your insurance company, you’ll need to fill out a claims form and submit the related evidence. This can include medical reports, the police report, and photos of the damage to your vehicle. Depending on the state you live in and the circumstances of the crash, you may be dealing with your insurance company, the other driver’s insurer or both. 

It is almost guaranteed that the insurance company will not want to pay you the full amount you ask for. If they paid out every car accident claim, they wouldn’t be able to stay in business. Generally, accident victims who have an attorney are more likely to get a fair and full settlement. Lawyers are much better at negotiating with insurance companies than the average person who has been involved in a collision.

Handling Auto Body Repair Services

Your insurer is likely to recommend some collision repair services to you but you have the option of choosing your own. The auto service will assess the damage to your vehicle,  tell you the types of repairs that are needed and provide a car repair estimate.  Since the goal of the auto body repair shop is to get your car fixed efficiently, they will gladly help you.

That being said, if you want an insurance company to pay for the repairs, you shouldn’t accept the estimate and get the work down immediately. You need to let the insurer review everything first. If you make repairs which aren't’ approved, you’re unlikely to get your money back. 

The Car Accident Checklist You Need to Keep in Mind

Let’s sum things up. Getting involved in a car crash can be scary and at times traumatizing. However, it is important that you keep a level head, follow these instructions, and make the right decisions on the spot. So, if you are involved in a collision, what should you do?

Check yourself and people around you for injuries

  • Move to safety, if possible
  • Call 911
  • Take photos of the scene
  • Exchange driver and insurance information
  • Do not admit any fault
  • Write down your version of the events
  • Limit communication with the other party
  • Contact your insurance company
  • Do NOT panic

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be better able to protect your interests in the unfortunate event of a crash.

We service Pennsauken, Maple Shade, Cherry Hill, Merchantville, Camden, Moorestown, Mt. Laurel, and the surrounding areas. If you were in a car accident and auto body repair is needed, call Collex Collision Experts today at 856-665-1589!

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