There’s a lot to think about following a car accident. Is everyone ok? Should you call the police? Where are you going to go to get your vehicle repaired? If you’re ever involved in a collision, do your best to stay calm and focused. Here is a list of four essential steps you should take after an automobile accident.
Get Medical Care
Even minor traffic accidents can result in very serious injuries. Call emergency services immediately when someone suffers from lacerations, broken bones, or a loss of consciousness. Seek medical attention at your local emergency room if you feel dazed or have sustained any minor wounds.
Injuries caused during a motor vehicle collision are not always apparent. Many patients report feeling their worst a day or even two after the accident. Even if you’re confident that no one is injured, consider seeing your family physician in the days that follow the incident.
File a Police Report
Even if no one is hurt, it’s always a good idea to call the police. Many insurance companies ask for a police report when you file a claim in order to get your damaged vehicle repaired — and in some states, it’s required by law.
If the accident is minor, go ahead and move the vehicles out of traffic to a safe place while you await the responding officer. Police will fill out an accident report and often document the scene with photographs.
Notify Your Insurance Carrier
Once you’ve received your police report, notify your insurance company. You may even decide to call your insurance agent while you’re waiting at the scene. Many companies have mobile personnel that will come right to you.
Some auto insurance policies require immediate reporting, and it’s important to find out what benefits you’re entitled to as part of your coverage. You could get funding for accident-related medical bills, in addition to damages to your car or truck.
Choose a Collision Shop
Once everyone is safe and all the necessary paperwork has been filed, your insurance company will give you the green light to get your vehicle repaired. Choosing the right collision shop is an important decision, and it’s not uncommon for estimates to vary significantly. How do you know who to trust?
Your local dealership’s body shop is staffed with industry professionals who are certified by the automaker to work on your vehicle. They also go the extra mile when it comes to service, with shuttle rides to and from work or home and assistance completing the claim’s process. Your car or truck will be restored to its original manufacturer’s specifications structurally, functionally and cosmetically. Stay informed along the way with online trackers or with phone and email updates.
An accident can leave even the most seasoned driver with frazzled nerves. Following these steps may help protect you from unnecessary worries during this stressful time. After a car accident, ensure everyone is safe and that you follow the law — whether you were at fault for the accident or not.
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