When you’re in an accident, what you do immediatelyfollowing impact is vital. From gathering information to documentation, it canmean the difference between easy claims coverage and a smooth repair process orhassle. So, what do you need to do to facilitate quick recovery from an autoaccident?
- Move to a Safe Area if You are Able
If your vehicle is drivable,move to the shoulder of the road so you are out of the way of traffic. If youcannot move your vehicle, put on your hazard lights, cones or flares to alertothers to your presence and inability to move. Put on your parking break andensure it is safe to get out of your car before you open a door. Be aware thatsometimes, it may be safer to remain in your vehicle until emergency crewsarrive.
- Make Sure All Involved are Okay
Check to see if anyone involvedwas injured. Some injuries may be evident—call 911 ASAP. However, some injuriesmay not be immediately noticeable. It’s probably best to call 911 anyway.
- Call the Police
Even for a minor accident, callpolice. Nearly every insurance carrier want a police report to process yourclaim. If the accident is minor, a police dispatcher may advise you how to makea police report at a local substation if no officer is available.
- Exchange Information
Exchange information with theother party, including:
- Insurance information
- License plate numbers
- Names and numbers of the driver(s) and anypassengers
- Makes and models of the cars involved
- The name and number of responding policeofficers
Do not give out any personalinformation beyond your insurance and contact information. And do notapologize, admit to or speculate about fault. Anything you say could cost youcoverage.
- Document Damage and the Scene
It’s easy to forget details asthe claims process drags on. Documenting the accident will help you provide thedetails your insurance carrier needs to process your claim. Documentation that will be helpful includes:
- Detailed photos of the damage and of the scene(including any street signs or signals)
- Names and numbers of any witnesses
- Notes about the circumstances and conditions,such as speed and direction you were traveling and what contributed/led to theaccident and how it happened
- File a Claim with Your Insurance
As soon as you are able (maybeeven while you’re waiting for police to arrive), contact your insurance agencyto report the accident. The agent you talk to on the phone will help youunderstand what will happen to open and process the claim. They may alsoprovide some helpful tips for documentation you’ll need about thescene/circumstances to make the process go more smoothly.Oncethe accident has been reported, documented and “claimed,” you’re ready to beginthe collision repair process. And the first step for that is to get your car toQuanz Auto Body for a full inspectionand repair quote. We are a preferred partner by seven major insurance carriers,and we offer on-site Enterprise car rental. We make the rest of the accidentrepair process better.