After you have been in a car wreck, or even if you just had a more minor fender bender, it’s definitely stressful and frustrating. Following an accident there are a few things you need to do in order to protect yourself, and to get yourself back out on the road as soon as possible. Here are the three after accident steps a smart driver needs to know
Reporting the Accident to Police
Reporting the accident is the first, and most essential, thing that you need to do. There are two ways in which you need to report the accident.
First, be sure to call the police as soon as the accident happens. It is best to stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive, and not to move the vehicles involved in the accident unless they are impeding the flow of traffic.
The police will come directly to the scene of the accident and will file an official report regarding the accident. Your insurance company will need to have the information derived from this report when processing your claim later.
The police report will typically not be available for a certain period (anywhere from a few days to a week or two). Once the report is available, you can obtain a copy at the police precinct in which the accident happened, or your insurance company may obtain it on your behalf.
Until the accident report is ready, you will receive a preliminary report from the police officer at the scene of the accident. Keep this information on hand since your insurance company may also need this to help get your claim started.
Reporting the Accident to the Insurance Company
Next, you need to phone your insurance company as soon as possible. Reporting the accident promptly is important for several reasons. First, many auto policies allow you a specified window in which you can report a car accident and you need to let them know about it quickly to make certain that you get the benefits you paid for.
You also need to call the insurance agent promptly because the sooner you report it, the sooner you can get your car repaired and get back on the road. Your agent will need to get some details regarding the accident and will be able to help you arrange towing if your car is not operable immediately after the accident.
Getting Your Vehicle Repaired: Who Should Fix Your Car?
You will naturally want to get your vehicle in to the shop for repair as soon as you can. Most insurance policies will allow you to select your own car repair shop, however it makes a lot of sense to rely on the expertise of the insurance company if they can recommend a vehicle repair facility.
Your insurance company may give you a list of several good local repair facilities. If you aren’t sure which to choose, it is important to begin with finding a collision repair shop that puts the client first. Look for a company that says they won’t be happy until you, the customer, are happy.
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing your auto body repair shop is the level of experience that they have. Companies like Colorado Auto Body have a combined 150 years of collision repair experience, for example. The more experience your auto body shop has, the better: Every repair is different and you want to find a repair facility that has seen and done it all successfully when it comes to collision repair.
If your insurance company sends you to a high quality repair facility like Colorado Auto Body, consider yourself very fortunate. If the insurance company tries to send you to a sub-par repair shop, don’t accept it: Remember, you deserve the highest levels of workmanship and service, so it is important that you settle for nothing less.