I Crashed My Car, Now What?
Getting in a car accident isn’t an ideal situation for anyone; that’s why they call it an accident. You have to deal with insurance, repairs on your vehicle, and potentially someone else’s vehicle. Depending on how bad the accident is, you might even be forced to get an entirely new car. It is common to be unclear about how to move forward when you get in an accident, so below are the steps you should take if you ever find yourself in this sticky situation.
1. Move To A Safe Area
Immediately following the wreck, you should move all vehicles involved to a safe space if possible. If that is not an option for any reason, put your hazard lights on to let others know you won’t be moving your vehicle.
2. Check On Others Involved
After you’ve put your hazard lights on or moved your vehicle to a safe space, check with the other drivers involved to make sure everyone is not hurt and assess the damage on all the vehicles.
3. Call The Police To The Scene
By having the police there, you can file a police accident report. According to Esurance, when filing a police accident report you should:
“Cooperate fully, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone is at fault for the crash.”
This will give police the ability to determine the at-fault party without bias and help you out later when dealing with insurance.
4. Gather Any Important Information
You’ll need to talk to the other people involved in the accident to get their license plate numbers, insurance information, the make, model, and year of their vehicle, names of everyone involved and any witnesses, the location of the accident, and any information about the police officers who responded on site (name and badge number should be enough to locate them easily). Photos of the location and all vehicles involved in the crash will also prove invaluable when you talk to your insurance company.
5. Research and Call a Service Provider
You’ll want to do some research before choosing a repair shop for your car. Look at online reviews via sites like Google Reviews and Yelp, and check whether the shop provides any photos of past repairs on their site. Be wary of sites that claim their repair shop is “preferred,” “recommended,” or “in network” for a particular insurance provider, even if it’s your insurance provider. These shops often cut deals with insurance companies so that they can get more customers as the provider’s preferred partner. Unfortunately, these “in-network” shops often cut corners or use poor quality parts to save money for the insurance company which can put drivers in danger down the line. Once you’ve made a decision to call whichever repair shop you choose, make sure you ask them specific questions about their shop’s practices and schedule an estimate.
6. File Your Insurance Claim
Contacting your insurance provider file a claim can seem daunting, but actually, most repair shops will do the talking for you. At ProCare, we take care of the insurance side of your claim for two reasons: we have years of experience doing so and it makes our customers’ lives much easier. No matter which repair shop you choose, make sure copies of all your expenses and paperwork are made and given to you in case they are needed later on.
7. Get Your Car Repaired
The final step is to get your car scheduled for repairs as soon as possible! Driving a damaged car can do more harm the longer it remains on the road, so get into a repair shop as quickly as you can.
Remember, your insurance company must allow you to choose whichever auto repair shop you desire. It is in your best interest to choose a repair provider with a history of high quality work to make sure your vehicle is 100% safe and road ready instead of simply picking the cheapest option. While getting your repair finished in a timely manner is important, you don’t want your servicemen to be rushing through repairs. It’s important during this process that the shop you choose for your repairs is completely transparent and informs you about your car’s progress, which is why the team at ProCare takes a proactive approach to our customer service. We’ll let you know how your car is doing and communicate with you every step of the way to keep your mind at ease. That’s also why, as we mentioned, we act as the middleman between you and your insurance company. By making sure you don’t have to field calls from your insurance or stress about calling the shop for updates on your repair, we can help reduce the amount of stress you have to deal with after an accident.
Car accidents are a hassle, but it is important to take the right steps to avoid problems down the road. If you’ve recently been in an accident and need repairs done on your car, call ProCare Collision today for an accurate estimate!
ProCare Collision Center
Auto Body Repair & Service in Omaha, Nebraska Serving Omaha, Ralston, La Vista, Papillion, Elkhorn, Fremont, Council Bluffs, Chalco, Bellevue, Carter Lake and surrounding areas.