Getting in a car accident is one of the scariest things a driver can go through, but you can speed up the process and reduce the stress of the incident if you stay calm and follow these steps.
1: Assess the situation. Check yourself for injuries, then anyone in the car with you. If you’re able to get out of the car, do so, and if any other cars were involved in the accident, check on the drivers and passengers.
2: Get your car out of the road. If you car is in the middle of the road, it will clog traffic and could even cause another accident. If your car is drivable, move it to the side of the road or the shoulder. If not, turn on your hazard lights.
3: If anyone is injured, call 911. If there are no injuries, you may want to call the local police department to report the accident, depending on the severity of the accident.
4: Exchange insurance information. Whether or not you make a police report, it’s important to exchange contact and insurance information with anyone else involved in the crash.
5: Document the details of the crash. Take photos of any damage you or the other car has sustained, and write down a record of the accident while it’s still fresh. The police report will also include this documentation.
6: Call your insurance company and file a claim. Make sure to give them your information, the information of anyone else involved in the crash, and a thorough description of the accident.
7: If your insurance company agrees, have the vehicle towed to your dealership. The dealership body shop will be best equipped to make repairs to your vehicle and can provide services such as free rental cars that won’t necessarily be available at independent shops.
8: Pay for the repairs. The shop or dealership will contact the insurance company for the cost of the repairs. All you have to pay is your deductible.