An auto accident, no matter how minor, is stressful. Yet, to effectively handle injuries and property damage without facing a lot of out-of-pocket expenses requires that, to the best of your ability, you stay calm and focused. One way to improve your response is to know before you ever have an accident the best way to deal with the situation.
So, here’s a brief overview from crash event to vehicle repair:
Attend to Your Safety First
The severity of the accident will dictate what steps you need to take to make sure you, your passengers and anyone else involved in the accident get the proper care.
If the accident is minor:
- Move your vehicle out of the path of traffic
- Turn off your vehicle and turn on the hazard signals
- Check yourself and others for injuries
If anyone suffered injuries, don’t take chances. Call 911 to dispatch an ambulance and/or other paramedical technicians who will provide a more careful assessment.
If the accident is major, call 911 and wait for emergency crews to arrive.
For any accident, contact law enforcement with jurisdiction over the roadways. You will need a police report later on for the auto collision repair claims process. This report may also be vital to any litigation proceedings that may follow the accident.
Gather Necessary Information
This applies primarily to minor accidents or those rare occasions where major accidents only resulted in property damage. You will want to document damage rather than rely on police reports to ensure accessibility to the information and that nothing is missed.
You will need:
- Witness information—names and contact numbers
- Insurance information for the other party(ies) involved
- Pictures of vehicle damage (all cars involved)
Observing landmarks may also be helpful for medical crews and/or towing companies to locate your accident for faster assistance.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If possible, contact your insurance company at the time of the accident. The agent you speak to may identify questions or information they need to process the claim and/or verify coverage. They may also be able to help coordinate towing or other roadside assistance.
Promptly contacting your insurance company will also expedite dispatch of a claims adjuster who will estimate the claim once your vehicle arrives at a potential repair location.
Begin Collision Repair
ABC Paint & Body works with all insurance companies to coordinate collision repair coverage. We provide free estimates, which includes a visual and tear-down inspection to find any hidden damage. Some insurance companies may accept our damage repair estimates in lieu of an estimate from a company adjuster. Once the claim is processed, we can begin the work of restoring your vehicle to pre-accident condition.
We communicate with you and your insurance company to make the claims process easy and so that you know exactly what to expect—including when to expect your car to be ready for pick-up. After the repair, you can still stay on with us for routine mechanical and maintenance.