Car accidents are, sadly, sometimes unavoidable. No matter how safe you are, the risk of accidents or collisions is fairly high thanks to all the other less-safe drivers that share the road. Understanding what to do in case of an accident will help you be prepared for when it happens:
- Pull off the road — The last thing you want to do is interrupt the flow of traffic. If your vehicles still work and can move, pull to the shoulder or at least into the slow lane. DON’T leave the scene of the accident–just get out of the way!
- Check on everyone — Make sure the other driver is okay, and that your passengers are unharmed. If there is anyone in need of medical assistance, call for an ambulance immediately.
- Alert the police –– If the accident is serious enough, you may need to call the police. This will ensure that you have proper documentation for the accident, which will be necessary for filling out the insurance paperwork. It will ensure that your statement on the collision can be corroborated, just in case of legal proceedings.
- Call your insurance company –– If the damage is severe enough to get the insurance company involved, you want them on-site as soon as possible. They’ll help you deal with both the police and the other driver.
- Exchange information –– You should both have insurance, so it’s a simple matter of taking down the other person’s insurance information. If you don’t have your insurance card on you at the time, you have a predetermined amount of time (usually a few days) to present it.
- Take photos –– This will help the insurance companies and the police assess the damage to the vehicles as well as determine fault. You may need it in case of legal proceedings, and it will be needed as proof for your insurance claim.
- Get a police report — The police report will be the proof of the accident, and it will corroborate your claims. This is needed for both insurance and legal proceedings.
- Have your car towed –– If the damage to the vehicle is extensive, ask your insurance about having the vehicle towed to your body shop. Don’t let the insurance company tell you which body shop to have the vehicle towed to, but choose the body shop you know you can trust, and which will do a good job!
Follow these steps, and it will make the process a whole lot smoother.
About the Author: Network Auto Body is proud to be the #1 shop for auto collision repair San Fernando Valley has to offer. With their reputation for quality work and excellent customer service, they have become one of the top body shops in the Greater Los Angeles area.