Not sure what to do after a car accident? No worries – we’ve got a checklist to take you from the accident to your repair shop and back home again.
At the scene of the crash:
If you’ve been in a car accident, take a deep breath and make sure you do the following.
● Make sure nobody was hurt. If there are injuries, call an ambulance.
● Take photos of the accident.
● If possible, clear the road AFTER you’ve taken photos.
● Exchange contact and insurance information. Don’t let the other party photograph your ID.
○ Phone numbers
○ Email addresses
○ Insurance name and policy number
● Contact the police.
● Collect witness contact information.
Towing your car:
If your car is driveable after the accident and you are able to drive away, you can deal with repairs later.
If it’s not, you might need a tow. If you’re not sure what repair shop you’re going to, you can have it towed nearby or to your home until you’re ready to have it fixed.
Remember that you don’t have to use the repair shop that your insurance company suggests! You have the right to choose your own repair shop.
Getting a collision repair estimate:
A repair estimate will give you an approximate cost for the repairs to your vehicle. You can get as many estimates as you want from various repair shops and your insurance company may do their own estimate too.
If the cost of the repairs costs more than the value of the car, you might find out that the car is totalled and not worth repairing.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your estimate!
● About how long will the repair take?
● Would you recommend OEM parts, aftermarket parts, or recycled parts?
● Have you repaired cars like mine or preformed repairs like these before?
● What qualifications/certificates do you have?
At your car repair appointment:
Once you’ve selected a repair shop, your insurance company has agreed to cover the cost of repairs according to your policy, and you’ve scheduled an appointment, just drive or tow your car to the shop of your choosing.
You should get a a form that lists the necessary repairs. If there are any changes to this list as repairs get going, your shop should let you know ASAP.
Again, don’t be afraid to ask questions during or after your repair! When your car is returned to you, it should be in pre-accident condition.