Accidents happen, and usually at the most inconvenient times; but if you will follow these simple suggestions, it can save you a lot of time, money and stress.
Step One: Keep Calm
The first, and best, thing to do is keep calm. Take a few deep breaths before getting out of your vehicle to meet the other driver, but always make sure it is safe to do so (watching for oncoming traffic or debris from the crash). This will give you time to make sure you and your passengers are ok. Being flustered and upset can cause the situation to get much more complicated. Some drivers resort to anger and start shouting at the other driver, or even try to get into a physical confrontation. This is to be avoided at all costs. Getting upset helps no one and will make a difficult situation even trickier. It will be determined which person was at fault later, and now isn’t the time to discuss it. In fact, you should never admit liability even if it was your fault. Instead, maintain a friendly tone with the other driver and point out that your insurance company will deal with theirs in order to establish which driver was to blame. If the car is fine to drive away but you aren’t in a major rush to get anywhere, you should make sure you are in a safe location, out of the way or traffic, then take a few deep breaths and ensure you are in a calm state of mind before you drive on. If there is a coffee shop nearby, think about stopping there and letting your nerves settle. The initial impact of the accident will slowly wear off, and you will feel that your body and mind return to normal after a while.
Step Two: Write Down All the Details
It is easy to think that you will remember the details of the collision, but this isn’t always the case. Accidents usually happen very quickly; and with so much going and so much to sort out, you could easily forget some of the most important details. Your insurance company will want/need as many specifics about the accident as possible, so write down everything. This will help you tremendously later on when it comes to filling out your claim and telling your side of the story. If you have a camera (including a phone camera) with you, pictures are a great way to capture exactly what happened. Be sure to get a picture of the positions of the cars, the layout of the streets or intersections, and the damage that was done to both vehicles.
Step Three: Look for Witnesses
If anyone witnessed the incident, hopefully they can help clarify who was at fault. If any drivers or pedestrians are nearby, ask them if they witnessed the accident. If they did, then ask them if they wouldn’t mind giving you their account of the accident. Make sure you get their name and contact information (phone number and/or email address). You may never need to get in touch with them, but it is nice to know that there is someone who can be called upon if needed.
Step Four: Speak to Your Insurance Company Right Away
It is always a best to notify your insurance company right away following any accident. This means that it is immediately logged in their system, and you have done your job in notifying them. It could also be that they can help you out at this stage by arranging a rental car or for your car to be towed to a local repair shop like Artistic Auto Body. It can be a lonely feeling to be stranded somewhere with a damaged car, so hearing a friendly voice advise you on what to do can be a big help.
As always, for more information, contact Artistic Auto Body-Tigard, Artistic Auto Body-Wilsonville, or visit our website www.artistic-autobody.com.