WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT CHECKLIST (A 9-PART GUIDE)
What To Do After A Car Accident Checklist
Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatic experience, even if there are no serious injuries. Filing a car insurance claim and getting your vehicle repaired can be time-consuming on its own, and injuries can make this even worse.
Fortunately, knowing what to do before the accident occurs can ensure that things go as smoothly as possible if an accident ever does occur. That’s why it’s important to brush up on post-accident actions to take now, not under the duress of an accient.
1 First, exchange information with anyone else who was involved in the accident. This may include the driver and passengers of any other vehicles as well as the owner of any property that might have been involved. You’ll need to get their insurance and contact information.
2 Report the accident to the police. If you’d like, you can call the police to report the accident. The police can help you ensure that all necessary information is gathered from the other party, and you can provide proof of insurance at the scene.
3 Call your insurance company. You should file a claim with your insurance as soon as possible after the accident. You’ll need to provide information about the accident and the people involved. Once the claim has been completed, you will receive a claim number and guidance about the next steps in the process. An adjuster will be assigned to the claim, and this person will be your primary contact for the duration of the claims process.
4 Visit the doctor. If you’re experiencing even the slightest discomfort, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor to get checked over. Soft tissue injuries can take a few days to set in, and it can be harder to win an appropriate settlement on your claim if you do not immediately report injuries.
5 Arrange to have your vehicle inspected. Once the claim has been filed, your insurance company will want to complete an estimate of the damages. Ask your insurer whether this estimate needs to be obtained at a shop of their choice or if you can have your own shop complete it. If the vehicle is not safe to drive, have it towed to the inspection location.
6 Make arrangements to have your vehicle repaired. In some cases, this might occur at the same time and location as the inspection. In other cases, you may need to make separate repair arrangements. In any case, your insurance company may make some suggestions about repair shops, but you are free to choose the shop of your choice to complete the work.
7 Pick up a rental car if available. Some car insurance policies cover the cost of a rental vehicle while your car is in the shop. If you have the necessary coverage, you can arrange to have the rental available on the same say as your car goes into the shop. If you do not have rental reimbursement coverage on your policy, you would be responsible for paying this expense out of pocket.
8 Depending on the type of coverage you carry, you may need to pay a deductible to the body shop before you can take your vehicle home. If the accident was your fault or you carry standard or limited collision coverage, you’ll be responsible for the deductible.
9 If you have any problems getting your insurance company to pay for your injuries or damages, it may be time to hire an attorney. The attorney can walk you through the steps needed to get the money you deserve for your accident.